Dealing with Contango

Investing in commodities has been made much easier by the advent of exchange traded funds.  However, one issue that has been a drag on returns and has investors scratching their heads is contango. Contango, and its opposite number — backwardation, occurs in funds that track commodity prices with futures contracts.  Since the contracts have a […]

Best ETFs for Agriculture Exposure

Investors looking to agriculture to their portfolio have several ETFs from which to choose. Gregory Zuckerman writes that investors can choose from exchange traded funds that own agriculture-related companies such as the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) or PowerShares Global Agriculture Portfolio (PAGG). An alternative is to invest directly in agriculture commodities through ETFs such […]

China Launches Fund to Invest in Gold ETFs

China’s securities regulator has approved the country’s first fund designed to invest in overseas-listed gold ETFs. That’s according to reporters Carolyn Cui and Chris Oliver in the article China Buys In to Gold’s Allure.   According to the Cui and Oliver, China bought over 200 metric tons of gold in the first 10 months of […]

ETFs and Tax Savings

Investors seeking to recognize losses on stocks or bonds may find exchange traded funds a handy portfolio substitute. Jonathan Burton writes that ETFs are great portfolio placeholders because they are low cost, liquid and match almost any desired exposure.  Another benefit is that ETFs do not charge the short term holding penalty that is levied […]

The Problem with ETF Names

ETF names can be puzzling. That’s according to Karen Damato who asks the question – what type of exposure do you get with exchange traded funds such as the iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT North America Index (IFNA)?  Equally as puzzling, what do those initials mean in the name of the iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Social Index […]

Deflation and Inverse ETFs

Investors looking for a way to bet on deflation may want to consider inverse ETFs. Greg Zuckerman writes that, to hedge against deflation, some advisors prefer exchange-traded funds that aim to move in the opposite direction of an index that tends to rise in periods of inflation. Examples include the DB Base Metals Short ETF […]

Death Cross for the Dollar?

When the 50 day moving average price of a stock moves below the 200 day moving average, technical analysts declare a “death cross” with the implication of future lower prices. Turns out that the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (UUP) is near the death cross according to John Spence.  The last death cross occurred […]

Professors and ETFs

Would you invest in an ETF invented by a famous professor? That’s the question asked by Ian Salisbury in the article Beware of Professors Bearing ETFs. Salisbury points out that the track record of exchange traded funds based on ivory tower theories have delivered mixed results. One example is the WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN), […]

Concentration Risk in Country ETFs

Although single country exchange traded funds are an inexpensive way to gain exposure to a hot economy, they may have a large part of the portfolio invested in only one or two companies or sectors. According to Rob Curran, several country ETFs fit this description including the iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY) which has […]

Merger Arbitrage and ETFs

Looking for a low-cost, tax efficient fund that bets on merger arbitrage? Check out the IQ ARB Merger Arbitrage ETF (MNA).  The fund takes positions in a target company after an acquisition announcement has been made.  The fund has exposure from 25 to 45 deals at any one time and carries an expense ratio of […]

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