The “fund of funds” style is a portfolio tactic that has been used successfully for many large investment companies. Think about those target-date or target-risk funds in your 401(k). They are essentially a single mutual fund filled with 8-12 underlying funds to create a highly diversified investment strategy using varying asset classes.
It was initially assumed that this same dynamic would be readily embraced in the exchange-traded fund format as well. However, after several failed attempts, it’s becoming apparent that ETF investors want certain attributes within a “fund of fund” strategy that they can’t find elsewhere. The following three examples highlight the largest of this breed and how they have developed over the last decade.
The influx of capital into exchange-traded funds has prompted many active managers to take a hard look at their business models. The old days of high-fee mutual funds, hedge funds, and separate accounts are becoming harder to justify. Investors want transparency, they want liquidity, and they want low-cost.
Those are the hallmarks of the exchange-traded fund platform. It’s why companies like BlackRock and Vanguard have expanded their asset management businesses by hundreds of billions of dollars over the last several years. This is a freight train of capital moving in virtually one direction with no signs of slowing down.
The concept of rising interest rates is one that investors have been worried about for many years. While we have yet to experience an extended period of rising Treasury bond yields in the last several decades, that hasn’t tampered fears of how such an event would unfold and to what magnitude.
Interest rates, like stocks or commodities, go through cycles of rising and falling trends that can have a pronounced impact on your portfolio returns. Fixed-income assets experience the highest level of inverse correlation with interest rates. However, there is also an undeniable impact on certain stock market sectors as well.
I’ve been fascinated watching the sentiment and price trends in publicly traded retail stocks over the last six months. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Amazon.com (AMZN) has been minted as the frontrunner to take over just about every conceivable retail segment in the next decade. Their share price shows it too after crossing the $1,000 barrier and showing no signs of immediate distress. Read more
In this month’s video, I look at the technical trends developing in growth versus value stocks. Chart review includes analysis of large-cap, small cap, international, Treasury bonds, and high yield bond ETF prices. Observations of risk and reward are noted throughout, with an emphasis on trend following and sensible portfolio management. Recorded on May 31, 2017.