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Although uncertainty continues to linger across financial markets, investors’ confidence in the global economic recovery has without a doubt improved considerably going forward, shaking off much of last year’s pessimism. Debt negotiations in the Euro zone have played a key role in ensuring stability, while better-than-expected economic data releases on the home front have helped to reignite optimism. According to a recent survey by Bank of America, global investors have started 2012 with fairly bullish prospects and greater appetite for risk [see also 12 Rapid Fire ETF Ideas For 2012].

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One of the most noteworthy innovations in the ETF industry over the last several years has been the development of funds that deliver targeted exposure to investment “factors”, allowing for easy access to techniques that previously required extensive research and maintenance. From high momentum to low beta, there are now ETFs that slice and dice broad equity indexes in a number of different ways to deliver unique risk/return profiles.

ETFs focusing on low volatility stocks have become immediately popular with investors; eight such products have debuted over the last year, and they have already accumulated close to $1 billion in assets. The PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV), which targets the 100 components of the S&P 500 with lowest historical volatility, has gathered about $880 million since debuting last May. Other ETFs exist targeting low volatility stocks in emerging markets (EEMV), developed markets outside the U.S. (EFAV, XLVO), and small cap domestic equities (SLYV) [see also Inverse VIX ETN (XIV) Gets Hot Again].  [click to continue…]

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PowerShares, the Illinois-based ETF giant, announced plans to bring four more funds to market, potentially expanding the firm’s growing lineup to 161 products. The proposed funds, which were detailed in a recent filing with the SEC, look to add to the growing trend of issuers targeting the ‘high beta’ and ‘low volatility’ ETF spaces by […]

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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 rolled out the latest additions to its ETF lineup on Thursday, commencing trading on two ETFs that offer exposure to specific subsets of the S&P 500 Index. The two new ETFs are:

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