iShares MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility ETF (ACWV) - NYSEARCA
  • Jun. 4, 2014, 12:49 PM
    | Jun. 4, 2014, 12:49 PM
  • Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
    | Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
  • Apr. 2, 2014, 4:24 PM
    • Selling volatility in 2012 and 2013 has funded many a vacation home, but one favorite - the VelocityShares Daily Inverse Short-Term Futures ETN (XIV) - is down 5% this year
    • "The absence of net sellers of VIX is remarkable," writes the team at SocGen, noting historically, hedge funds - with long equity positions elsewhere - "have a strong natural bias toward net selling the VIX." Given a market in contango, it pays even more to be short, yet they still aren't.
    • The risk of a spike in volatility thanks to geopolitical tensions with Russia may be having an influence, but alone don't explain the trend, says SocGen, which concludes the period of low volatility is coming to and end.
    • ETFs: VXX, UVXY, TVIX, XIV, VIXY, SVXY, ZIV, VXZ, VIXM, CVOL, VIIX, XVZ, VIXH, ACWV, XVIX, XXV, TVIZ, IVOP, VIIZ
    | Apr. 2, 2014, 4:24 PM | 12 Comments
  • Mar. 18, 2014, 1:24 PM
    | Mar. 18, 2014, 1:24 PM | 6 Comments
  • Mar. 3, 2014, 3:05 PM
    | Mar. 3, 2014, 3:05 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jan. 24, 2014, 12:56 PM
    • Call option bets on the VIX this week soared to a record high 8.4M contracts at the CBOE. "A lot are buying in size," says Mike Palmer, who sits at the center of the VIX pit. With volatility so low, speculators "can get a lot of bang for their buck." About 81% of VIX options trading yesterday was in call options.
    • After a 7.2% jump Thursday, the VIX is up another 14% today, but - at 15.67 - still well below the 20-year average of 20.50.
    • VIX ETFs: VXX, UVXY, TVIX, XIV, VIXY, SVXY, ZIV, VXZ, VIXM, VQT, CVOL, VIIX, XVZ, VIXH, PHDG, ACWV, XVIX, XXV, TVIZ, IVOP, VIIZ
    | Jan. 24, 2014, 12:56 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jan. 8, 2014, 10:34 AM
    • "The Safety Bubble Deflates," goes the title of a new report from Bernstein's Seth Masters, adding his name to those voices suggesting "safe" assets have become otherwise.
    • Even though utilities, telecom, and consumer staples have underperformed of late, says Masters, their relative valuations are still well above the average over the last 50 years. "In periods of stress, investors tend to prize stability and safety too much. But in time, investors discover that every investment carries with it some degree of risk: if not risk of loss, then risk of inadequate growth."
    • Related ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, NLR, GRID, JXI, NUCL, DBU, IPU, RYU, PUI, UPW, FXU, SDP, PSCU, AXUT, FUTY, UTLT, XLP, VDC, FXG, RHS, FSTA, PSL, PSCC, IYZ, VOX, IXP, IST, XTL, LTL, FCOM, TLL, AXTE
    • Barron's Jack Hough says the "low beta" approach is a flawed one: First, volatility can change quickly as companies' or industries' fortunes shift; Second, beta tells one nothing about whether a stock's valuation is high or low. In a similar warning over low volatility stocks, BAML suggests looking for companies with smooth earnings rather than smooth stock prices. Screening for such, Hough finds CSX Corp (CSX -0.6%), DuPont (DD +0.6%), Cisco (CSCO -0.6%), and Halliburton (HAL -0.8%).
    • Low volatility ETFs: SPLV, USMV, ACWV
    | Jan. 8, 2014, 10:34 AM | 7 Comments
  • Dec. 19, 2013, 11:26 AM
    • The PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (BKLN) was honored with the William F. Sharpe Award for ETF Product of the Year this morning.
    • Since opening in March 2011 and becoming the first floating-rate senior loan ETF, this Invesco (IVZ) fund has amassed over $6.2 billion in assets under management, making it easily the largest player in the space.
    • Also receiving honors this morning is the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged Portfolio (PHDG), which was named the ETF Innovation of the Year, along with its underlying index: the S&P 500 Dynamic VEQTOR Index.
    • Other senior loan ETFs: SRLN, SNLN, FTSL
    • Other VIX ETFs: VXX, UVXY, TVIX, XIV, VIXY, SVXY, VXZ, ZIV, VIXM, VQT, CVOL, XVZ, VIIX, VIXH, ACWV, XVIX, XXV, TVIZ, IVOP, VIIZ
    | Dec. 19, 2013, 11:26 AM | 12 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2013, 1:26 PM
    • An MSCI study argues the low-volatility trade is a long way off from being a crowded one and says scalability isn't an issue, but the report, says Brendan Conway, didn't examine the market impact - i.e., the real world friction a large money manager might see moving in and out of positions.
    • Then there's valuations - the study found low-volatility stocks had an average P-E ratio of 18.1x vs. 19.5x for all stocks from 1992-2012. But now the stocks making up the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV) trade at 18.5x earnings vs. the S&P 500 at 16.5x. Globally, it's similar, with the iShares MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility ETF (ACWV) at 18.5x earnings vs. the MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) at just 16.5x.
    • "[O]ver the past 10 years, the cheapness or 'valueness' of developed market low volatility stocks seems to have diminished. As of May 1, 2013, the earnings yield and B/P ratio data indicate that low volatility strategies have become more expensive than the market cap-weighted core indices," says Research Affiliates' FeiFei Li.
    • Related: SPLV
    | Dec. 11, 2013, 1:26 PM
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 3:30 PM
    • Higher again today, the Volatility Index has gained for six straight sessions and is now at a 7-week high. Taper fear makes for a good excuse, but Baird's Bruce Bittles says the stock market - after notching its longest string of weekly advances in nearly a decade - simply needs a break.
    • MKM's Jim Strugger says a number of potential negative catalysts lie ahead - notably Fed meetings in mid-December and late January, the January 1 deadline to sign up for Obamacare, and January 15 end of the current government spending authority (don't forget Friday's employment report).
    • VXX +3.6%.
    • ETFs: VXX, UVXY, TVIX, XIV, VIXY, SVXY, VXZ, ZIV, VIXM, VQT, CVOL, VIIX, XVZ, VIXH, ACWV, PHDG, XVIX, XXV, TVIZ, IVOP, VIIZ
    | Dec. 3, 2013, 3:30 PM
  • Nov. 4, 2013, 3:47 PM
    | Nov. 4, 2013, 3:47 PM | 2 Comments
  • Jul. 23, 2013, 12:01 PM
    "Some volatility is good," write researchers from Ned Davis after studying the results and finding low volatility strategies barely took the edge off big market declines in the mid-70s and mid-80s. Investors in SPLV or USMV who watched those funds underperform the SPY of late hardly need reminding of this. The study did not extend to global variants like EEMV and ACWV.
    | Jul. 23, 2013, 12:01 PM
  • Jul. 11, 2013, 1:38 PM

    Volatility investors may have interest in the little-followed CVOL which actually does a pretty good job of tracking the VIX. Unlike VXX - which tracks front-month futures on the VIX, and is destined to head to zero due to contango - CVOL tracks 3rd and 4th month futures and takes a model-dictated short position in the S&P. It's a nice product, but - for now - high expenses, low AUM, wide spreads and minimal volume likely make it "unownable," writes Oliver Ludwig.

    | Jul. 11, 2013, 1:38 PM
  • Jul. 10, 2013, 9:34 AM

    The "fear gauge" is flawed, says Citi's Mike Pringle, and investors risk harm by using the VIX (VXX) as an indicator of market risk. "It's an asset class and it's more traded for yield than protection," he says, noting the growth of structured products based on the VIX as dampening reported volatility. "It's still relevant in extremes, but not in a normal functioning market."

    | Jul. 10, 2013, 9:34 AM | 15 Comments
  • Jun. 22, 2013, 8:25 AM
    The VIX started showing signs of life this week, a development that historically doesn’t bode well for stocks. The so-called fear index closed above 20 Thursday for the first time this year before pulling back a bit yesterday. The odds of a market rally over a three-, six- and 12-month time horizon are at their lowest when the VIX is 20-25, according to Citigroup data that goes back to 1990.
    | Jun. 22, 2013, 8:25 AM | 11 Comments
  • Jun. 20, 2013, 4:02 PM

    Bets against higher volatility (and there are a ton of them) get fried, with the VIX up 23% and hitting a new YTD high. The level of shorts in some VIX ETPs is eye-popping, with 273% of the share count of the Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (UVXY +20.9%) out on loan, reports Ned Davis. Of the unleveraged products, 75% of the Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX +10.4%) is on borrow, and 110% of the S&P Dynamic VIX ETN (VXZ +4.3%). "This is one of those trades that works remarkably well until it doesn't," writes Brendan Conway. Indeed.

    | Jun. 20, 2013, 4:02 PM | 9 Comments
ACWV Description
The iShares MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index.
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