Dennis Gartman manages an ETF that trades in Canada for Horizons. Someone mentioned it in a tweet the other day and while I knew that he managed a fund, for some reason I've never looked at it. The fund is called the Horizons AlphaPro Gartman ETF (OTC:HAGRF).
The description page of the fund is very concise and clear as to what the fund does and sets an expectation for a lot of activity. The fund factsheet was the only place I saw where you could get an inkling of the holdings -- the holding were as of May 31, 2011. Also on the factsheet is this, which tells you much of what you need to know:
The ETF is designed to provide investors with the opportunity for consistent capital appreciation through all market and business cycles.
The benchmark is the one year Canadian T-bill so it appears that the fund should be thought of as absolute return vehicle. As of May 31 the fund was long 84% short 37% and hedged -29%. The largest long positions was the Aberdeen Asia Pacific Income Fund with some other large holdings being Pengrowth Energy (NYSE:PGH) and Molycorp (MCP). If Aberdeen Asia Pacific Income Fund is what I think it is (not sure if there is some Canadian version) then it has ticker FAX and some of our clients own that one. The largest short positions were in yen and euro futures.
Since its inception in late 2009 it is down 7.7%. It came out of the blocks slowly, had a pretty good run from mid 2010 until peaking in early March but since then it is down 14%. After reading the Gartman rules for trading on the info page I am surprised that it is down that much since then. In the time that this fund is down about 14% the Canadian Currency Share (NYSEARCA:FXC) is down 0.72%, the Energy Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLE) is down 7.5%, PowerShares Commodity Tracker (NYSEARCA:DBC) is down 4%, iShares Canada (NYSEARCA:EWC) is down 9.5%, iShares Australia (NYSEARCA:EWA) is down 1.2% and FAX is up 6%. Some clients own EWC.
The above may not be proper comparisons (especially considering the benchmark) but these are some of the waters that the fund swims in and the euro and yen would not seem to be up enough to cause that much damage, but maybe they are?
Either this is a slump or Gartman's method's may not lend themselves to the structure of a fund. Where the benchmark is a T-bill however, I have to wonder if the fund is using the wrong benchmark. The fund is not very short or hedged compared to the long positions and the notion of the positions as of May 31 looking like something that might add a couple of hundred basis points versus the total return of a one year Canadian T-bill was not apparent to me. Greece notwithstanding, it would seem to be very rare to lose 14% in three months on a one year T-bill. Of course we may see a lot more Greeces in the near future.