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Sector ETFs

ETF Trading Strategies - A Look at Several ETF Trading Systems

One of the attractive features of ETF’s is that they can represent a relatively narrow sector of the market, but don’t generally have the volatility of individual stocks. This makes them ideal for some traditional investment approaches. Here is a look at a number of different etf trading strategies.

Asset allocation - The first is the classical asset allocation approach. This approach is championed by many investment advisors, especially those who embrace the efficient market hypothesis, which basically suggests that you can’t beat the markets, so the best you can do is buy and hold low cost funds, and reduce the overall risk of the portfolio by investing in assets that aren’t correlated and should not move in concert. In this case the key feature is that since you don’t think you can beat the market, all you want from a fund is the lowest cost way to purchase a portfolio of stocks in a given sector.

Sector Trading - There is a Bullish Sector Somewhere

Do you look at the mutual fund rankings that magazines publish every year? The performances can often be eyepopping. Have your ever seen a year that the best performing mutual funds had a loss?  Of course not, there’s always secgtor funds that have a good year, even in the bear market years. It might be energy sector or medical sector, or foreign country mutual funds that have a good year. 

US Treasury ETF’s - A Look at Treasury ETF Choices

There have been a confusing array of US treasury ETF’s made available over the last several years. They come in a few different classes, here are some that might work for your portfolio.

One advantage of using US Treasury ETF’s is that you can purchase them for a significantly smaller amount than the minimums you will need if buying treasury instruments directly.

Oil ETFs - What are the Choices for an Oil ETF

Oil is a popular investment target these days as the price of oil shows a lot of volatility, and provides some diversification as it doesn’t move in concert with the overall market. As an alternative to investing in oil stocks or trading crude oil directly, you may wish to invest directly in ETF’s that track an oil index.

Fidelity ETF - The Story with Fidelity and ETF’s

Fidelity does sponsor an ETF, but the most common way to trade ETFs at Fidelity is through the brokerage arm. Let’s take a look at the Fidelity ETF.

Many fund families have gotten into the business of creating/ sponsoring ETFs. It would seem like a natural move for them, and they did start the process back in 2003 with the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Indes Tracking Stock (ONEQ is its trading symbol). This is a simple tracking stock, and it has no real distinctive reason for being.

Fundamentally Weighted ETF’s

We are constantly on the lookout for ways to both diversify our portfolios, while simultaneously improving the risk adjusted return. ETF’s have many advantages over traditional mutual funds, e.g. the ability to trade interday, no early redemption fees, low cost structures, and are not typically tied to the track record of an individual fund manager. This last advantage is a result of the fact that ETF’s are typically set up to track some type of passive index, limiting the ability of a fund manager to add (or subtract) value with his stock picking abilities.

Fund Correlation Calculator to Build a Truly Diversified Portfolio

In another article we discussed measuring risk using standard deviation. Here we will spend just a little more time to introduce the magic of statistics and how understanding standard deviation and other simple statistical measures can reduce your portfolio risk.

What is correlation? Simply put, it’s a measure of how closely two investments track one another. The unit of measure is the correlation coefficient, which can vary in magnitude from 0 (not correlated at all) to 1 (exactly tracking).

Gold ETF Funds and Gold Mutual Funds - Diversifying Portfolios with Gold

Gold ETFs and gold mutual funds can add some needed diversification to your portfolio. In our series on building high return, low risk portfolios, we have learned that an asset class can be of value to our portfolio if it add to the return, or if it is sufficiently uncorrelated to the rest of the portfolio to reduce the risk without reducing the returns.

One common piece of investment advice is to add precious metals, often specifically gold, to your portfolio as a way to hedge or reduce the overall risk of the portfolio. The rationale, of course, is that gold often moves in the opposite direction of the overall market, as when there is a great deal of uncertainty, or the fear of inflation, or even something as severe as the threat of war, then gold will often move up in value.

A Coal ETF - A New Commodity Based ETF in Energy

We have previously taken a look at a handful of commodity based ETFs as a way to diversify your investing portfolio. One of the problems with commodity based ETF’s to this point has been that the choices aren’t really representative of the wide range markets represented by the commodity markets. But that is changing over time, for example a new coal based ETF recently caught our eye.

Foreign Currency ETFs - A Look at Foreign Currency Fund Choices

What is a foreign currency ETF or exchange traded fund? The first foreign currency ETF was offered by Rydex in 2005, traded as FXE, and it tracks the European Euro against the US dollar.

Now you should be aware that when you are involved in currency trades, you are actually participating in a market that is much larger than the US stock market. The Forex, or foreign currency exchange market dwarfs the US stock market, and is probably the largest financial exchange in the world.

Bear Funds - Bear Mutual Funds and ETFs

As we discussed in our previous article on our hedged mutual fund portfolio when the market is moving against the bulls as quickly as it has been recently, its time to take another look at risk management strategies, and in this case specifically hedging strategies. There are a number of ways to hedge your mutual fund or ETF position, but our favorite is the use of bear funds or bear ETFs.

What Are the Best ETF’s to Trade

What are the best ETFs to trade? We often get questions about the list of ETF’s we use, and why we “only use 50 Exchange Traded Funds” in our system. Aren’t we leaving money on the table, and shouldn’t we be trading all the available ETF’s in order to get the best possible returns from our system?

Trading ETF’s in Odd Lots

We occasionally get the question: Can I trade ETF’s in odd lots. And of course, the answer is “Sometimes.”

ETF Correlation Calculator - Properly Diversify Your Portfolio

One of the things we cover in our discussion of building a low risk portfolio is the need to find investments that have a low correlation to one another and the overall market. This is probably the most powerful tool for reducing risk in your portfolio without the need to suffer a reduction in overall return. The problem is finding those high return but low correlation funds or ETF’s.

Oil Stocks - How to Invest in Oil Stocks

Should I invest in oil stocks?

That’s a question that a lot of investors have been asking themselves over the last couple of years. The fundamentals of the oil stocks story aside, the case can be made that investing in oil stocks is a reasonable way for the average investor to hedge his individual energy costs (like the price of a tank of gas or your electric bill) with part of their portfolio. It’s interesting that paying an extra $5 a tank at the pump doesn’t feel so bad if you have oil stocks in your portfolio that have just gone up 5% as well. And many average investors can’t trade crude oil directly.

Of course, these are some of the most volatile stocks around, and many of the penny stocks are associated with the energy industry as well. So, how best to invest in oil stocks?

Gold Mutual Funds to Diversify Your Portfolio

In a previous article on gold mutual funds, we explored the impact that holding a postition in gold mutual funds could have on the volatility and risk of your overall portfolio. The impact was not as great as you would think given the standard advice to hold a metals position to diversify your portfolio.