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PXLV

As the ETF industry continues to develop, many investors have begun to move away from the more “traditional” funds in favor of ETFs that employ unique methodologies that are aimed at delivering potentially higher returns. Of the most noteworthy and popular innovations has been the development of alternative weighting strategies, specifically the RAFI methodology [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Advisor Should Learn].

Several years ago, Research Affiliates, a global lead in innovative investing and asset allocation strategies, developed the fundamentally-weighted indexes that utilize the RAFI methodology. Now there are nearly 20 different exchange-traded products that are linked to RAFI-weighted indexes. But before taking a look at the performance of these popular funds, a fundamental understanding of the unique methodology is essential.  [click to continue…]

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One of the many appealing attributes of ETFs is the ability to achieve broad exposure through the purchase of a single ticker, thereby whittling away any company-specific risk that comes with individual stock picking. While the “instant diversification” provided by ETFs and mutual funds can go a long way towards minimizing the impact of a single security on bottom line returns, it is important to note that certain ETFs can still feel the pinch from poor performances out of a single stock.

For starters, not all ETFs are created equal in terms of balance and depth of the underlying portfolios. While some stock ETFs have thousands of individual holdings and don’t assign a weight of more than 1% to any single security, others are more top heavy in a few big names. For example, Exxon Mobil (XOM) accounts for about 19% of the Energy SPDR (XLE), with Chevron making up another 15% or so [try our Free ETF Stock Exposure Tool]. Among international equity ETFs, it isn’t uncommon to allocate more than 10% to an individual stock–generally one that is found in the energy or financial sector. That concentration can obviously translate into material company-specific risk; if the stock in question performs well, it can be good news for the entire fund. If the largest weighting struggles, however, a single name can offset stellar gains from other, smaller components. [click to continue…]

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And just like that, another star active manager bites the dust. Earlier this month, one of the most respected mutual fund managers in history announced that he was stepping down after a tumultuous stretch that cast a long, red shadow over an otherwise illustrious career. Bill Miller, who has been the manger or co-manager of […]

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June was another interesting month for markets around the world as a number of important events transpired over the past few weeks. The Federal Reserve meeting came and went without much of a hitch as Bernanke called for the end of QE at the end of the month but suggested that the economy was still […]

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A Dead Cat Bounce?

by on June 18, 2011

The last week was an up-and-down stretch for global equity markets, as the intensifying crisis in Greece dominated headlines and investors scrambled to analyze the potential fallout from what seems increasingly likely to be a default on sovereign debt obligations. The jump in equity markets–which snapped a six week losing streak–wasn’t really attributable to good […]

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PowerShares, one of the largest ETF issuers by assets, made the latest step in its push towards alternative index products on Thursday. The company converted seven existing products from its “Dynamic” ETF suite to Fundamental Pure Style ETFs that seek to replicate RAFI benchmarks. In addition the company will introduce two new ETFs, including the […]

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May ETF Roundup: Launches, Filings, and Closures

by on June 1, 2011 | Updated April 25, 2013

May was a tumultuous month for equity markets, as instability around the world pushed and pulled on major indexes through the last several weeks. Perhaps the biggest news of the month was the re-emergence of the European debt crisis; with Greece in yet another dire situation, many investors are concerned about the overall stability of […]

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PowerShares, the Chicagoland ETF issuer behind the ultra-popular QQQ that has expanded its presence in the alternative weighting arena in recent years, has plans to significantly expand its partnership with Research Affiliates, the firm that developed the RAFI methodology. Next month, PowerShares will convert seven existing products from its “Dynamic” ETF suite to Fundamental Pure […]

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