From the category archives:

ETNs

Just a few years ago there were only a handful of bond ETFs available to U.S. investors, and almost all of them focused on securities from U.S. issuers denominated in U.S. dollars. One of the most noteworthy innovations to shape the ETF industry over the last several years has been a significant growth in international bond products; as issuers have worked around concentration-related issues and other hurdles, the universe of bond ETPs targeting markets beyond U.S. borders has grown tremendously.

The current economic environment has no doubt contributed to the growth of international bond ETFs; paltry yields on U.S. debt and concerns over the long-term outlook for the euro have understandable sparked interest in ex-U.S. bonds as a way to both boost yields and diversify away some risk [see Better-Than-AGG Total Bond Market ETFdb Portfolio]. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Between the beginning of the second half of 2011 and the middle of December, few exchange-traded products endured a tougher stretch than the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN (XIV); the exchange-traded note plummeted last summer as the “fear index” spiked and VIX futures markets entered a rare stage of backwardation. Those two elements–increases in the spot VIX coupled with market expectations of an upcoming decline–spelled trouble for a product designed to deliver daily inverse exposure to a benchmark comprised of short-term VIX futures contracts [see Low Volatility ETFs Attract Big Inflows].

But right around Thanksgiving, XIV has experienced an abrupt change of fate and climbed sharply higher; through Wednesday’s close, this ETN had gained close to 40% since Turkey day. The reason behind that sudden surge is two-fold. The big decline in the VIX, which measures expectations of short term equity market volatility, certainly hasn’t hurt; the so called “fear index” has declined by about 35% over that period. XIV has also been aided by a return to the normal environment for VIX futures; this market is in a state of steep contango at present, with both short-term and mid-term futures contracts trading at a material premium to the spot VIX.  [click to continue…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Equity markets endured a rocky day of trading as mixed economic data paved the way for profit-taking and relatively light-volume price action. The Dow Jones Industrial Average proved most resilient, gaining 0.17% on the day, while the Nasdaq lagged behind, slipping into negative territory and closing down 0.01%. Conglomerates and industrial goods stocks led the […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective. That certainly seemed to be the case when it comes to dividend-focused exchange-traded products in 2011. As investors have sought to enhance current return profiles while scaling back the risk of equity investments, the landscape has become cluttered with ETPs targeting stocks of dividend-paying companies. Currently there […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

With 2011 nearly in the books, the ETF industry has set yet another record for product development and innovation. More than 300 exchange-traded products debuted this year, beginning in early January with the launch of the first VIX ETFs from ProShares and continuing through late December when RBS added another Trendpilot ETN to its lineup. […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

RBS, the well-known financial institution and relative newcomer to the ETF space. introduced its sixth ETN this week. This new ETN, the NASDAQ-100 Trendpilot ETN (TNDQ), will join the issuer’s family of “Trendpilot” ETPs, which offer exposure to a dynamic trading strategy applied across a variety of asset classes. TNDQ is linked to the RBS […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

With over 1,600 exchange-traded products on the market as of 2014, investors have likely run into some seemingly “duplicate” offerings. While many of the “plain vanilla” products have quite a bit in common, there are more than a handful of funds which offer seemingly identical exposure, although a closer look under the hood reveals some […]

{ 0 comments }

UBS, the issuer behind one of the broadest lineups of ETNs available to U.S. investors, continued the aggressive expansion of its product lineup this week with the introduction of two unique offerings. The company rolled out a pair of blunt instruments designed to be used in high level “risk on / risk off” trades, a […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The vast majority of the 1,300+ exchange-traded products now available to U.S. investors are alike in that they offer static exposure to a specific asset class, whether it be stocks, bonds, commodities, volatility futures, or other “exotic” securities. While the composition of the underlying portfolios changes regularly, the type of exposure offered–whether it be soybean […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Six Noteworthy ETF Innovations

by on November 16, 2011 | Updated July 9, 2014

Since the ETF industry was conceived in 1993, innovation has been a hallmark of this rapidly-expanding corner of the investing landscape. Thanks to a unique structure that allows for liquidity, transparency, and tax efficiency, ETFs have quickly and consistently taken market share from other types of securities, bringing newfound flexibility to all types of portfolios. […]

{ 0 comments }

United States Commodity Funds, the firm behind the innovative USCI, rolled out another product created through its partnership with SummerHaven this week. The new United States Copper Index Fund (CPER) will be linked to the SummerHaven Copper Index Total Return, a single-commodity index consisting of copper futures contracts traded on the COMEX exchange. The index […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

PowerShares rolled out a pair of ETNs offering inverse exposure to Japanese government bonds, rounding out a suite of products delivering targeted exposure to one of the world’s largest debt markets. The new ETNs join the existing Japanese Government Bond Futures ETN (JGBL) and 3x Japanese Government Bond Futures ETN (JGBT), both of which are […]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }