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Sector rotation techniques have been around for decades, a relatively simple strategy often used by investors seeking to capitalize on short-term mispricings in order to generate alpha. In its most basic form, sector rotation involves segmenting the equity universe by industry, and moving into and out of various sectors depending on relative attractiveness from a valuation perspective. The idea is to overweight the sectors that are attractively priced, and underweight those that are deemed to be overvalued. Those who are able to identify overbought and oversold sectors–or even broader trends that may favor high beta or low beta stocks–can beat the market by regularly shifting exposure [see also Nine Twists On Sector ETF Investing].

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The month of May was a generally disappointing stretch for investors, as both international and domestic equity markets struggled to overcome obstacles new and old. Commodities, which had been a nice source of absolute returns for much of the last year, fell on hard times as well; precious metals went into a brief freefall, and most other natural resources saw price declines as well.

May demonstrated the importance of a meaningful allocation to fixed income within any long-term portfolio, as most bond ETFs turned in nice gains during the month. The following tables highlight the best performers from each ETFdb Category during the month of May [ETFdb Pro members can download spreadsheets showing performance and expense data for the entire ETF universe]. [click to continue…]

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July saw a flurry of activity in the ETF industry, with almost a new fund for every trading day during the month. The surge in new products continues to be driven by innovation rather than duplication; many of the ETFs to hit the market last month were the first of their kind, including unique international […]

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iShares, the largest provider of ETFs in the world, announced today the latest enhancement to the international component of its ETF platform, rolling out nine new ex-U.S. sector ETFs. The funds will offer investors exposure to both developed and emerging markets, and all nine will feature an expense ratio of 0.48%. The additions give the […]

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