PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio ETF
 (SPLV)

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  • Wed, Jan. 13, 5:06 AM
    • The SocGen strategist says the West is about to be hit by a wave of deflation from emerging market economies and that central banks were unaware of the disaster about to hit them.
    • “I realize most people think I am talking utter garbage but I’m used to that. And maybe I am! But the truth will come out in the next recession which may be pretty close now,” Edwards says.
    • “The previous bear market low was in March 2009 when the S&P reached 666. I think we’ll go below that within this bear market.
    • “Developments in the global economy will push the U.S. back into recession. The financial crisis will reawaken. It will be every bit as bad as in 2008-09 and it will turn very ugly indeed.
    • “Emerging market currencies are still in freefall. The U.S. corporate sector is being crushed by the appreciation of the dollar.
    • He says the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than the Fed realizes: “We have seen massive credit expansion in the U.S. This is not for real economic activity; it is borrowing to finance share buybacks.”
    • Edwards attacked the “incredible conceit” of central bankers, who had failed to learn the lessons of the housing bubble that led to the financial crisis and slump of 2008-09. “They didn’t understand the system then and they don’t understand how they are screwing up again. Deflation is upon us and the central banks can’t see it.”
    • Note: Edwards's "Ice Age" thesis goes back to Aug. 2008, and was reiterated in Dec. 2009, Sept. 2011, and May 2012.
    • ETFs: SPY, QQQ, DIA, SH, SSO, SDS, VOO, IVV, UPRO, PSQ, SPXU, TQQQ, SPXL, SPLV, RSP, SPXS, QID, PRF, SQQQ, QLD, CRF, DOG, DXD, RWL, UDOW, EPS, SDOW, VV, USA, SCHX, DDM, VFINX, IWB, OEF, ZF, SPHB, MGC, SPHQ, BXUB, QQEW, FEX, QQQE, VONE, XLG, JKD, EEH, SPLX, SFLA, BXUC, EQL, QQXT, ROLA, IWL, SPUU, ONEK, EQWL, EWRI, LGLV, ERW, EQAL, FWDD, FMK, ZLRG
    | Wed, Jan. 13, 5:06 AM | 36 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 11, 4:38 AM
    | Mon, Jan. 11, 4:38 AM | 16 Comments
  • Apr. 9, 2015, 1:33 PM
    • The PowerShares S&P 500 ex-Rate Sensitive Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEMKT:XRLV) takes the 100 stocks from the S&P 500 that feature low-volatility and are not sensitivity to interest rate changes.
    • This fund takes the established theme of the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEARCA:SPLV) to another level by including interest rate sensitivity as a requirement.
    • Other low volatility ETFs: LGLV, CFO, CFA
    | Apr. 9, 2015, 1:33 PM
  • Apr. 9, 2015, 9:16 AM
    • Volatility in the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF (NYSEARCA:SPLV) has been higher than the S&P 500 each day since Feb. 27, according to Bloomberg, with the gap peaking at 244 basis points on March 18 - the widest since the ETF opened for business in 2011.
    • “There’s no guarantee that the name of an ETF, the label, means it’s going to perform the way it’s advertised,” says Morningstar's Michael Rawson. “Investors need to know there’s no magic formula.”
    • The SPLV holds the 100 stocks in the S&P 500 which have fluctuated the least over the prior 12 months. One reason for the high volatility of late, says Rawson, could be energy stocks - the SPLV owns none vs. the S&P's 8.24% weighting, and volatility in the energy names tumbled lower in March.
    • Other low vol ETFs: SPLV, USMV, HDLV, XSLV, XMLV, SMLV, LGLV, CDC, CFO, CFA, CSF
    | Apr. 9, 2015, 9:16 AM
  • Jul. 31, 2014, 11:04 AM
    • The Compass EMP U.S. Discovery 500 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Fund (Pending:CSF) will include only companies with consistent positive earnings (at least its 4 most recent quarters) and is weighted based on the volatility of each stock.
    • According to a regulatory filing, stocks with lower volatility receive a higher weighting, while stocks with higher volatility will receive a lower weighting in the fund.
    • Earlier this month, Compass EMP launched its first three ETFs, all of which feature a volatility-targeting strategy and fall into the trendy "smart beta” umbrella.
    • U.S. ETFs with a focus on volatility management: SPLV, USMV, XMLV, XSLV, SMLV, LGLV, CFA, CFO, CDC, CFA, CFO
    | Jul. 31, 2014, 11:04 AM
  • Jul. 8, 2014, 12:26 PM
    • Leading this week's decline are a lot of the same names which led March's "momo" selloff, among them the biotechs (XBI -4.5%) and social media (SOCL -4.4%). Also familiar, small caps (IWM -1.5%) are off more than the other major indexes.
    • Doing their jobs are the low volatility ETFs like SPLV (SPLV) and USMV (USMV -0.2%), as well as defensive sectors like the utilities (XLU +0.6%).
    • Raymond James' typically bullish Jeffrey Saut is out with a note calling for the first decent pullback of the year - a  10-12% decline - to commence later this month or early August, and he suggests investors begin raising cash.
    • Biotech ETFs: XBI, BBH, FBT, PBE
    • Low-vol ETFs: SPLV, LGLV, CFA, CFO
    • Utility ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, UPW, FUTY, RYU, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU
    | Jul. 8, 2014, 12:26 PM | 7 Comments
  • Jul. 1, 2014, 12:40 PM
    • Traditionally a mutual fund issuer, Compass EMP is striking out into the ETF industry with the creation of 3 smart beta funds, each tracking an index made by Compass EMP.
    • The Compass EMP U.S. EQ Income 100 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Fund (CDC), Compass EMP U.S. 500 Volatility Weighted Index ETF (CFA), and Compass EMP U.S. 500 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Index ETF (CFO) will all begin trading on July 2nd.
    • These funds all feature a focus on volatility management and will charge an expense ratio between 58 and 68 basis points.
    • U.S. ETFs with a focus on volatility: SPLV, LGLV, USMV, VQT, PHDG, XSLV, SPXH, XMLV, SMLV, ERW, VIXH
    | Jul. 1, 2014, 12:40 PM
  • Jun. 4, 2014, 12:49 PM
    | Jun. 4, 2014, 12:49 PM
  • Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
    | Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
  • May 1, 2014, 11:49 AM
    • In response to dwindling revenues from patent expirations, drug companies are aggressively raising prices on their branded offerings. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, $20B of the pharmaceutical industry's 2013 sales growth was due to price increases. This perfectly offset the $19.3B in revenue declines.
    • Since 2007, the CPI has risen 12% while some drug prices have inflated as much as 400%.
    • Therapies that cost $300K or more are becoming more common in light of the incentives afforded by the Orphan Drug Act.
    • Generics comprise 86% of all prescriptions filled but American spent $263B for medicines in 2012, up 11% from 2007's $236B.
    • Unsurprisingly, industry representatives insist that the proper focus should be on outcomes instead of prices. They also cite the ever-rising cost of R&D.
    • ETFs: SPY, QQQ, SH, DIA, IYH, SSO, SDS, XLV, PSQ, VOO, IVV, SPXU, UPRO, VHT, SPLV, TQQQ, SPXL, QID
    | May 1, 2014, 11:49 AM
  • May 1, 2014, 11:18 AM
    • If Pfizer is successful in acquiring U.K.-based AstraZeneca, its plan to redomicile there will save it millions in corporate taxes. The tax arbitrage scheme, called an inversion, creates a holding company in the foreign country with the lower tax rate. Britain's corporate tax rate is 21% (20% next year) which is substantially lower than the U.S.'s top rate of 35% (up to 40% when state and local taxes are included).
    • About 24 U.S. companies have employed this strategy since 2008. Ireland, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands are also popular destinations for redomiciling.
    • According to Reuters, many of the m&a deals this year have been driven, at least in part, by tax inversions.
    • Predictably, investment bankers are working feverishly to generate deals in various industries that take advantage of the loophole before Congress acts to close it.
    • Some lawmakers say that the best solution is to reform the U.S. business tax code.
    • ETFs: SPY, QQQ, SH, DIA, SSO, SDS, PSQ, VOO, IVV, SPXU, UPRO, SPLV, TQQQ, SPXL, QID, PRF, SPXS, RSP, SQQQ, DOG, QLD, DXD, RWL, EPS, UDOW, SDOW, USMV, DDM, VV, SCHX, IWB, OEF, SPHB, NY, MGC, BXUB, QQEW, QQQE, VONE, FEX, JKD, XLG, TRND, SFLA, EQL, QQXT, SPLX, BXUC, ROLA, BXDB, EEH, TNDQ, SPXH, ONEK, IWL, TRSK, PXLC, EWRI, ERW, FWDD, LGLV, FMK, ALTL, SYE
    | May 1, 2014, 11:18 AM | 2 Comments
  • Apr. 29, 2014, 8:05 AM
    | Apr. 29, 2014, 8:05 AM | 4 Comments
  • Feb. 11, 2014, 10:07 AM
    • Making the rounds on trading desks is this chart of the DJIA (DIA) of the last 18 months superimposed on a chart of the index during the same time frame in 1928-1929. The short version: If form holds, the market is set for another epic crash.
    • In the more nuanced version, the chart says little except for again proving the hardwired tendency of the human brain to see patterns where none exist, and one is reminded of similar exercises over the past few years making the case for the Dow breaching its financial crisis lows.
    • Technical guru Tom DeMark, however, is starting to believe:  “Originally, I drew [the chart] for entertainment purposes only ... Now it’s evolved into something more serious.”
    • Tom McClellan: "There is no guarantee that the market has to continue following through with every step of the 1929 pattern. But between now and May 2014, there is plenty of reason for caution.”
    • Large-cap ETFs: SPY, QQQ, SH, DIA, SSO, SDS, PSQ, IVV, SPXU, UPRO, VOO, SPLV, TQQQ, QID, PRF, SPXL, SPXS, RSP, DOG, SQQQ, QLD, DXD, RWL, EPS, UDOW, SDOW, USMV, DDM, VV, SCHX, IWB, NY, SPHB, BXUB, QQEW, QQQE, JKD, FEX, VONE, TRND, SFLA, EQL, BXUC, ROLA, QQXT, BXDB, EEH, ONEK, SPXH, TRSK, FWDD, EWRI, TNDQ, PXLC, LGLV, ALTL, SYE
    | Feb. 11, 2014, 10:07 AM
  • 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
  • Jan. 6, 2014, 3:52 PM
    • "The low beta bubble is on the verge of deflating," says the quant team at BAML. "Due to low beta stocks’ strong performance in an up market, these stocks have quietly become riskier than they appear."
    • Looking at the relative valuations of the "low beta" vs. "high beta" names, the analysts find the staid stocks trading at their largest premium to the risky ones in more than a decade.
    • Low volatility ETFs: SPLV, USMV
    | Jan. 6, 2014, 3:52 PM
  • Dec. 23, 2013, 11:57 AM
    • "If history provides any guidance, there will be a shift to more cyclical, higher beta names, before this rally is well and truly over," says Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners, noting investors are buying in a "cowardly" fashion - focusing on defensive, low beta stocks.
    • The trend can be seen in low volatility stocks - and the ETFs built to own them, SPLV and USMV - trading at P/E multiple premiums to the broader market, while a high beta portfolio like SPHB is at a discount.
    | Dec. 23, 2013, 11:57 AM | 1 Comment
SPLV Description
The PowerShares S&P 500® Low Volatility Portfolio (Fund) is based on the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index (Index). The Fund will invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the Index. The Index is compiled, maintained and calculated by Standard & Poor's and consists of the 100 stocks from the S&P 500 Index with the lowest realized volatility over the past 12 months. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the magnitude of up and down asset price fluctuations over time.
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