Inflation could finally be easing in 2022, but underlying indicators continue to underscore an economic robustness that makes forward-looking predictions for markets difficult. As uncertainty continues and economic data is released that seemingly conflicts with market expectations of easing, investing in risk-managed ETFs could provide some volatility mitigation for portfolios.
All signs seemed to point to inflation easing in November, with a slower rate of inflation gain in both the CPI and PPI for October. Markets responded by roaring upwards in the strongest rally since 2020 on November 10 after the CPI October revealed just a 0.4% increase month-over-month, followed by more strong gains on November 11 after the release of the 0.2% PPI gain in October.
What followed was the seeming pattern for the year: news of Target’s big retail misses alongside the October retail sales data that revealed a sharp increase in retail spending in October and curbed market enthusiasm. Once more, markets and investors were forced to contend with the whip-saw narratives of Fed easing hopes versus Fed tightening fears and seemingly diverging economic indicators.
Trying to guess the Fed’s path forward for interest rate hikes has become one of the primary drivers of market volatility, with each new economic data point that corroborates the current perspective lifting markets in brief bear rallies only to have conflicting data points resulting in a plummet. Keeping an eye on the long-term remains critical, but even for advisors that can distill the market noise, volatility continues to weigh heavily on portfolios.
Investing in Equities with Risk-Managed ETFs
The ETF suite from Nationwide seeks high current income and potentially reduces volatility while carrying a measure of downside protection. Each fund allows for a different type of equity exposure depending on the assets and strategy investors are looking for.
The Nationwide Nasdaq-100® Risk-Managed Income ETF (NUSI) follows a rules-based options trading strategy that seeks to generate high current income every month and invests in stocks included in the Nasdaq-100 Index. The Nasdaq-100 Index consists of 100 of the largest non-finance securities traded on the Nasdaq exchange and is a rules-based, market capitalization-weighted index.
NUSI was the first fund that utilized the collar strategy employed by Nationwide within the Nasdaq-100 and was actively managed by the fund’s subadvisor, Harvest Volatility Management. A collar strategy entails holding the shares of an underlying security while buying protective puts and writing covered calls for the securities.
A put allows but does not force the owner to sell the underlying security at an agreed-upon price by an agreed-upon day. At the same time, a call gives the owner the right to buy the security at an agreed-upon price by an agreed-upon day but does not obligate them to do so.
The options collar is intended to reduce the fund’s volatility and provide a measure of downside protection. It allows investors to seek monthly income within equities, which can be particularly appealing given the challenge that bonds have faced in a rising rate environment.
Since then, Nationwide has gone on to expand their risk-managed ETFs within three other major equity indexes, providing investors with the ability to take positions in the areas that they believe might perform strongly in the coming months, whether that is through small-cap investment, blue-chip companies, or the broad U.S. equity market.
The Nationwide S&P 500® Risk-Managed ETF (NSPI) is an actively managed fund that invests in a portfolio of securities included in the S&P 500 Index. The S&P 500 Index is weighted by market capitalization and comprises approximately 500 of the top U.S.-listed companies that make up most of the U.S. equity market cap (80%).
The Nationwide Dow Jones® Risk-Managed Income ETF (NDJI) is an actively managed fund that invests in a portfolio of securities included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow Jones is weighted by price and comprises 30 well-established U.S. companies, referred to as blue-chip companies.
The Nationwide Russell 2000® Risk-Managed Income ETF (NTKI) is an actively managed fund that invests in a portfolio of securities included in the Russell 2000 Index. The Russell 2000 tracks approximately 2,000 U.S. small-cap companies.
All of the funds utilize an options collar in seeking to generate monthly income and can be an opportunity for investors beyond just bonds.
This article was prepared as part of Nationwide’s paid sponsorship of VettaFi.
ETFs, hedge funds, equities, bonds, and other asset classes have different risk profiles, which should be considered when investing. All investments contain risk and may lose value. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV), may trade at a discount or premium to NAV and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. The Fund’s return may not match or achieve a high degree of correlation with the return of the underlying index.
The NUSI Prospectus may be accessed at: https://nationwidefunds.onlineprospectus.net/nationwidefunds/NUSI/index.html
NUSI’s top holdings may be accessed at: https://nationwidefinancial.com/products/investments/etfs/fund-details/NUSI
Call 1-800-617-0004 to request a summary prospectus and/or a prospectus, or download prospectuses at etf.nationwidefinancial.com. These prospectuses outline investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.
The results shown represent past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the past performance shown, which does not guarantee future results. Share price, principal value and return will vary, and you may have a gain or a loss when you sell your shares. Returns for periods less than one year are not annualized. Short-term performance, in particular, is not a good indication of the fund’s future performance, and an investment should not be made based solely on returns. To obtain the most recent month-end performance, go to etf.nationwidefinancial.com or call 1-877-893-1830.
Click this link for the funds’ Standardized performance and 30-day SEC yield.
KEY RISKS: The Nationwide Nasdaq-100® Risk-Managed Income ETF, Nationwide S&P 500® Risk-Managed Income ETF, Nationwide Dow Jones® Risk-Managed Income ETF, and Nationwide Russell 2000® Risk-Managed Income ETF (collectively, the “Risk-Managed Income ETFs”) are subject to the risks of investing in equity securities, including tracking stock (a class of common stock that “tracks” the performance of a unit or division within a larger company). A tracking stock’s value may decline even if the larger company’s stock increases in value. The Risk-Managed Income ETFs are subject to the risks of investing in foreign securities (currency fluctuations, political risks, differences in accounting and limited availability of information, all of which are magnified in emerging markets).
The Risk-Managed Income ETFs may invest in more-aggressive investments such as derivatives (which create investment leverage and illiquidity and are highly volatile). The Risk-Managed Income ETFs employ a collared options strategy (using call and put options is speculative and can lead to losses because of adverse movements in the price or value of the reference asset). The success of the Risk-Managed Income ETFs’ investment strategy may depend on the effectiveness of the subadviser’s quantitative tools for screening securities and on data provided by third parties. The Risk-Managed Income ETFs expect to invest a portion of their assets to replicate the holdings of an index. Correlation between Fund performance and index performance may be affected by Fund expenses and because the Fund may not be invested fully in the securities of the index or may hold securities not included in the index.
The Risk-Managed Income ETFs frequently may buy and sell portfolio securities and other assets to rebalance its exposure to various market sectors. Higher portfolio turnover may result in higher levels of transaction costs paid by the Risk-Managed Income ETFs and greater tax liabilities for shareholders. The Risk-Managed Income ETFs may concentrate on specific sectors or industries, subjecting them to greater volatility than that of other ETFs. The Risk-Managed Income ETFs may hold large positions in a small number of securities, and an increase or decrease in the value of such securities may have a disproportionate impact on the Funds’ value and total return. Although the Risk-Managed Income ETFs intend to invest in a variety of securities and instruments, the Risk-Managed Income ETFs will be considered non-diversified.
Additional risks include: Collared options strategy risk, correlation risk, derivatives risk, foreign investment risk, and industry concentration risk.
The Fund expects to invest a portion of its assets to replicate the holdings of an index. Correlation between Fund performance and index performance may be affected by Fund expenses and because the Fund may not be invested fully in the securities of the index or may hold securities not included in the index. The Fund frequently may buy and sell portfolio securities and other assets to rebalance its exposure to various market sectors. Higher portfolio turnover may result in higher levels of transaction costs paid by the Fund and greater tax liabilities for shareholders. The Fund may concentrate on specific sectors or industries, subjecting it to greater volatility than that of other ETFs. The Fund may hold large positions in a small number of securities, and an increase or decrease in the value of such securities may have a disproportionate impact on the Fund’s value and total return. Although the Fund intends to invest in a variety of securities and instruments, the Fund will be considered nondiversified. Additional Fund risk includes: Collared options strategy risk, correlation risk, derivatives risk, foreign investment risk, and industry concentration risk.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) – The price of a weighted average market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households. Changes in measured CPI track changes in prices over time.
Producer Price Index (PPI) – A price index that measures the average changes in prices received by domestic producers for their output. Its importance is being undermined by the steady decline in manufactured goods as a share of spending
Nasdaq-100® Index: A rules-based, market capitalization-weighted index of the 100 largest, most actively traded U.S. companies listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Index includes companies from various industries except for the financial industry, like commercial and investment banks. These non-financial sectors include retail, biotechnology, industrial, technology, health care, and others.
Nasdaq® and the Nasdaq-100® are registered trademarks of Nasdaq, Inc. (which with its affiliates is referred to as the “Corporations”) and are licensed for use by Nationwide Fund Advisors. The Nationwide Nasdaq-100® Risk-Managed Income ETF (“NUSI”) has not been passed on by the Corporations as to their legality or suitability. NUSI is not issued, endorsed, sold, or promoted by the Corporations. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE PRODUCT.
S&P 500® Index: An unmanaged, market capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks of leading large-cap U.S. companies in leading industries; gives a broad look at the U.S. equities market and those companies’ stock price performance.
The S&P 500® index is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC or its affiliates (“SPDJI”), and has been licensed for use by Nationwide Fund Advisors. Standard & Poor’s®, S&P®, and S&P 500® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Nationwide Fund Advisors. The Nationwide S&P 500® Risk-Managed Income ETF (“NSPI”) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, or their respective affiliates, and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of the S&P 500® Index.
Russell 2000® Index: An unmanaged index that measures the performance of the small-capitalization segment of the U.S. equity universe.
FTSE Russell (“Russell”) is the Index Provider for the Russell 2000® Index (“Russell 2000®” or the “Index”). Russell is not affiliated with the Fund, Nationwide Fund Advisors, the Distributor nor any of their respective affiliates. Nationwide Fund Advisors has entered into a license agreement with Russell to use the Russell 2000®.
The Nationwide Russell 2000® Risk-Managed Income ETF (“NTKI”) has been developed solely by Nationwide Fund Advisors. NTKI is not in any way connected to nor sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies. All rights in the Russell 2000® vest in the relevant LSE Group company which owns the Index. “Russell®” is a trademark of the relevant LSE Group company and is used by any other LSE Group company under license. The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE International Limited or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of NTKI. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty nor representation either as to the results to be obtained from NTKI or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by Nationwide Fund Advisors.
Dow Jones Industrial Average®: A price-weighted index composed of 30 “blue-chip” U.S. stocks. The index covers all industries except transportation and utilities, respectively.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average® is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC or its affiliates (“SPDJI”), and has been licensed for use by Nationwide Fund Advisors. Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); Dow Jones®, Dow Jones Industrial Average®, DJIA® and The Dow® are registered trademarks of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Nationwide Fund Advisors. The Nationwide Dow Jones® Risk-Managed Income ETF (“NDJI”) is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P or their respective affiliates, and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s), nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions of the Dow Jones Industrial Average®.
Market index performance is provided by a third-party source Nationwide Funds Group deems to be reliable (Morningstar and U.S. Bank). Indexes are unmanaged and have been provided for comparison purposes only. No fees or expenses have been reflected. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.
Nationwide Fund Advisors (NFA) is the registered investment advisor to Nationwide ETFs, which are distributed by Quasar Distributors LLC. NFA is not affiliated with any distributor, subadviser, or index provider contracted by NFA for the Nationwide ETFs.
Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2022 Nationwide.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.