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sector funds

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. 

Investing in Index Mutual Funds: Pitfalls of Buy and Hold

Are you overwhelmed by the options when it comes to buying (and selling) mutual funds? With over 10,000 funds out there, there are more funds than stocks listed on the stock exchanges. How do we sort through this morass to find a good selection of funds, and how do we know when it’s time to sell?

One popular choice that gets a lot of attention is investing in index funds. But even this simple solution can be confusing. Do you buy just one stock index fund and one bond index fund? If you buy more than one?

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.

Sector Rotation Strategy - Simple Rotation Trades Just One Fund a Month

This sector fund trading system uses a strategy of sector rotation that only trades one fund at a time from the Fidelity sector funds (the Select Funds). It’s performance is pretty good overall, although it tends to have drawdowns at least as deep as the overall market.

The overall stock market has had a run of flat performance over the last several years. If you look at the performance of the S&P 500 from 1999 through 2005, you’ll see that it was up about 0.2% compounded annual return, not much better than a money market fund, and the Nasdaq 100 has fared even worse. Granted, it got there in an interesting way, but overall it basically went nowhere.

Best Fidelity Funds to Diversify Your Portfolio

We get a lot of questions about the best funds to build a well diversified portfolio. There are many factors that go into it, but here is an article we published that describes one way to identify some good candidates. This article builds around the Fidelty funds, but the same approach can be used to select ETFs to get many of the same benefits.

Almost any article in the popular press about building an investment portfolio is quick to advise that you need to build a diversified portfolio. You then get some rule of thumb about buying stocks and bonds, or you need to buy 8 stocks from different industries, or you need 5% in precious metals or international stocks.

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.

Gold Mutual Funds - Are They as Good As Gold?

In a previous post, we talked some about the options mutual fund investors had for investing in gold mutual funds. It turns out there are several options we have, and they are a powerful vehicle for adding diversification to your overall mutual fund portfolio. We covered the diversification effects of gold mutual funds previously, but this study focused on funds using gold stocks, primarily gold mining stocks. But we often get questions related to the performance of gold funds, and how correlated they are to the actual price of gold.

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.

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.