This Week in ETFs: November 7 Edition

by on November 7, 2010 | ETFs Mentioned:

The last week was certainly an eventful one–both on Wall Street and in the world of ETFs. The mid-term elections played out as most had expected, resulting in a Republican House and Democratic Senate that could point towards at least two years of legislative gridlock. Overshadowing the elections, however, was the highly-anticipated Fed meeting, during which Bernanke and Company devised a plan to implement another round of quantitative easing. Their tactics were generally cheered by investors–particularly those overseas–giving another boost to a stock market rally that seemed to be in danger of fading.

In the world of ETFs, the industry’s product lineup continued to grow this week, with Global X debuting funds focusing on gold explorers (GLDX) and uranium (URA). Recent days also saw a number of regulatory filings and rumblings of imminent launches, suggesting that the last two months of the year will be filled with activity.

Below, we profile three interesting ETF articles from around the Web:

Tax-Saving Trades at The Wall Street Journal

As 2010 nears to an end in the coming months, many investors will be making selling decisions on losing investments in an effort to offset capital gains. In this article, Jonathan Burton reviews some strategies that may help investors harvest tax losses without altering the exposure of their portfolio considerably. “Rather than let their cash sit idle, though, what some investors do, if only temporarily, is to move some or all of the cash generated by the sale into a holding that is similar to what they just sold,” writes Burton “And ETFs are a natural choice to fill that role.” The author also goes on to discuss some of the potential sticking points of using ETFs to enhance tax efficiency at the end of the year, and lays out an idea for those selling subpar mutual funds [see the Mutual Fund To ETF Converter Tool].

Does The ETF Provider Matter? at Index Universe

Brand loyalty certainly exists in the ETF industry, with some investors preferring to invest in securities offered by a certain issuer (according to surveys, Vanguard and iShares maintain the highest loyalty among financial advisors). In this article, Matt Hougan delves into an intriguing question for all ETF investors: does the choice of provider matter? His general answer is “no,” although he notes that there are some obvious and not-so-obvious areas in which similar products from different providers can differ in a meaningful way.

Bond ETFs: 12 Stops Along The Risk/Return Spectrum at ETF Database

For many investors, the universe of fixed income ETFs consists primarily of the “one stop shop” aggregate bond funds. But there is much more to this critical asset class than AGG or BND; there are now more than 100 bond ETFs offering exposure to everything from municipal bonds to high yield corporates to emerging markets debt. In this feature, we start at the low end of the yield continuum and work our way up to a fund that offers a current yield of more than 8%–but is flying under the radar of most investors.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.