To those who remember the risk on/risk off days of 2011 when the entire universe of assets seemingly moved together based on the utterings of some politician here or across the pond, today is quite a different matter. The instances of days in which more than 90% of S&P 500 stocks move together have all but vanished late last year and this year.
The 65-day average correlation of stocks fell to 0.52% in January vs. an average of 0.63% between 2009 and 2013 (it rose as high as 0.84% late in 2011).
Investors have responded by moving money into so-called actively managed strategies, with those funds seeing inflows of $1.3B this year on top of $9.8B in 2013. It's a small amount, but contrasts with $360B pulled out of such funds between 2009-2012.
AUM at the year-old Global X Top Guru Holdings ETF (GURU) are up more than 1,000% YTD as its strong performance (up more than 40% since inception vs. about 30% for the SPY) lures investors. The fund invests by studying 13F filings and rebalances quarterly. Other funds based on hedge fund positions - ALFA and QAI - are also trailing GURU.
ProShares lowered fees yesterday on its Credit Suisse 130/30 ETF (CSM) to 0.45% from an earlier 0.95%. ProShares is the first to cut fees for ETFs in this class, where investors are looking to outperform large-cap indexes. The fund's also getting a truer name (ProShares Large Cap Core Plus), but no change to holdings and strategy. Competitors: JFT, HDG, ALFA, GURU