USMV
iShares Edge MSCI Minimum Volatility USA ETFNYSEARCA
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  • Thu, Sep. 1, 12:31 PM
    • The ETF theme for 2016 has been hunkering down, with gold and low volatility funds dominating flow trends in the space - the SPDR Gold ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) garnered $12B in new funds, while the iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF (NYSEARCA:USMV) has pulled down $6.2B.
    • That all changed in August, as USMV saw $455M in outflows, and GLD lost $353M, according to XTF.com. "Risk-on" was most definitely on, with the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:EEM) and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:VWO) combining to grab a whopping $3.4B in fresh money.
    • Source: Chris Dieterich in Barron's
    | Thu, Sep. 1, 12:31 PM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 30, 11:11 AM
    • The estimated dividend yield on the financial sector as of Aug. 1 is 2.28%, but that's expected to fall 20 basis points after REITs leave for their own sector, reports Daisy Maxey in the WSJ.
    • The drop doesn't seem like much, but in a world of microscopic interest rates, 20 bps is a relative whopper.
    • "A lot of people will sit down and crunch the numbers, and they may change their minds” about financial sector holdings, says S&P Dow Jones' David Blitzer.
    • The change will occur after the market close on Aug. 31, but will be implemented in the indexes on Sept. 16. Mortgage REITs will remain in the financial sector.
    • Fund companies aren't expecting any tax impact, but they're making no guarantees. Vanguard will be transferring about 26.4% of the securities in its $3.8B Financial Index Fund (MUTF:VFAIX) and 26.4% of those in its $3.7B Financials ETF (NYSEARCA:VFH) out of the funds through a quarterly rebalance.
    • Another fund with work to do is the iShares Edge MSCI Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEARCA:USMV), which has 10.4% of assets in real estate names. The percentage exposed to real estate will likely slip, and that to financials increase, according to BlackRock.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, JHMF, FAZZ, FNCF
    | Tue, Aug. 30, 11:11 AM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 19, 12:54 PM
    • As of the end of last month, low volatility ETFs have seen a full $13B of inflows this year, and over the last 12 months, the MSCI World Minimum Volatility Index has surged 13.3% vs. a 0.5% decline for the MSCI World Index.
    • Thanks to pricier valuations for low vol names, SSgA head of research Dave Mazza suggests the next 12 months, not to mention the next three to five years, won't be as favorable. If you're buying low vol to help smooth out your portfolio's volatility for the long-term, that's fine, he says, but if you're looking for better returns than a broader index, you'll be disappointed.
    • Commonwealth Financial Networks portfolio manager Peter Essele: "Every dollar that moves in [to low volatility] is becoming more and more exposed to overweighted securities that are trading well above long-term averages."
    • ETFs: SPLV, USMV, EFAV, HDLV, IDLV, XMLV, XSLV, SMLV, LGLV, CFA, CDC, CFO, XRLV, LVHD, CIZ, CSF, OVLC, ONEV, FXEP, HEFV
    | Fri, Aug. 19, 12:54 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Aug. 10, 1:17 PM
    • "There are a lot of dumb ideas now masquerading as smart beta," says Rob Arnott. "My fear is that a potential crash that we hypothesized—in a few overvalued ‘smart beta’ strategies—may make the ‘smart beta’ label a subject of future jokes, and a chapter in the [Chartered Financial Analyst] program."
    • Smart-beta ETFs have received record inflows over the past year, and the vast majority of new ETFs launched this year have been smart-beta products, according to ETFGI.
    • Low-volatility ETFs have garnered $14.32B YTD, while value-oriented strategies have received $6.83B, and dividend-oriented $3.09B.
    • Arnott: "Many of the most popular new factors and strategies have succeeded solely because they have become more and more expensive ... If valuations were to revert back to their historical levels, these recently popular strategies can bring terrible performance."
    • Low-vol ETFs: SPLV, USMV, HDLV, XMLV, XSLV, SMLV, LGLV, CFA, CDC, CFO, XRLV, LVHD, CSF, OVLC, ONEV
    | Wed, Aug. 10, 1:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jul. 12, 11:44 AM
    • That the valuations on these popular names are stretched isn't new news, but, putting numbers on it, JPMorgan's Dubravko Lakos-Bujas says prices are 30% above levels justified by profitability, and 10% above fair value based dividend growth.
    • This can be resolved in one of two ways, he says: Either momentum stocks snap back, causing low-vol to lag, or the whole market turns lower. Either way, investors in USMV or SPLV, to name two, should take caution.
    • Low-vol ETFs: SPLV, USMV, HDLV, XMLV, XSLV, SMLV, LGLV, CFA, CDC, CFO, XRLV, LVHD, CSF, OVLC, ONEV
    | Tue, Jul. 12, 11:44 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sat, May 7, 5:06 PM
    • Barron's "ETF Roundtable" features David Cleary of Lazard, Fritz Folts of 3EDGE Asset Management, John Forlines III of JAForlines Global, and Will McGough from Stadion Money Management.
    • ETFs they like include:
    • Gold: iShares Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:IAU) "has a lower expense ratio (0.25%) than (NYSEARCA:GLD)," VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEARCA:GDX), and GLD.
    • iShares Global Materials (NYSEARCA:MXI).
    • Emerging markets: iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEARCA:IEMG), SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Quality Mix (NYSEARCA:QEMM),  iShares MSCI Brazil Capped (NYSEARCA:EWZ), EGShares India Infrastructure (NYSEARCA:INXX) "We like India in general as a long-term option," iShares Latin America 40 (NYSEARCA:ILF) "We're starting to see governance improvements in Latin America broadly,"  iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond (NYSEARCA:EMB).
    • Emerging-market proxies: iShares MSCI Canada (NYSEARCA:EWC) and iShares MSCI Australia (NYSEARCA:EWA).
    • iShares Core High Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:HDV). iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility (NYSEARCA:USMV) "Now there's more uncertainty, and that's when these low-vol strategies do best."
    • iShares North American Tech (NYSEARCA:IGM) and iShares U.S. Consumer Services (NYSEARCA:IYC), "We still like consumer services and technology."
    • PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ:QQQ), Vanguard Small Cap Value (NYSEARCA:VBR), "Blending the two doesn't tilt the portfolio too much in one direction or the other, because the combination blends small and large, growth and value."
    • SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:JNK), PowerShares Fundamental High Yield Corporate Bond Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PHB).
    • VanEck Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond (NYSEARCA:ANGL), "These are viable companies, and although they've moved from investment- grade to high-yield, they're likely survivors."
    • "We like preferreds, via the iShares U.S. Preferred Stock (NYSEARCA:PFF)." Also: iShares International High Yield Bond ETF (BATS:HYXU).
    • iShares MSCI Europe Small-Cap (NASDAQ:IEUS).
    | Sat, May 7, 5:06 PM | 15 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 29, 3:03 PM
    • Low volatility stocks are besting the broader averages this year, with the SPLV up 3% and the USMV up 4% vs. the 0.7% advance for the S&P 500.
    • While the consumer staples that make up much of the low vol names are expected to do well in the rocky times seen in 2016, at 21x earnings, they're getting pricey.
    • Picking through individual names though, Barclays' Jonathan Glionna has come up with a list of low volatility names which can still be deemed not expensive.
    • In consumer staples: AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Darden (NYSE:DRI), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), Clorox (NYSE:CLX), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), CVS, Hormel (NYSE:HRL), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM).
    • In utilities: Entergy (NYSE:ETR), PG&E (NYSE:PCG), PPL.
    | Fri, Apr. 29, 3:03 PM | 18 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 10, 3:26 PM
    • The iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEARCA:USMV) is this year's most popular stock ETF, garnering $2.8B of inflows.
    • “A lot of people don’t believe in the rally,” says Pravit Chintawongvanich, from Macro Risk Advisors. "Lw volatility stocks are going to be things like utilities, consumer staples, telecoms, real estate investment trusts -- sectors that have outperformed."
    • Checking the scorecard, USMV is higher by 1.8% this year, outperforming the S&P 500 410 basis points. On a year-over-year basis, USMV is doing better by about 760 basis points.
    • Low-vol ETFs: SPLV, USMV, HDLV, XSLV, XMLV, SMLV, LGLV, CFA, CFO, CDC, CSF, LVHD
    | Thu, Mar. 10, 3:26 PM | 3 Comments
  • 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
  • Sep. 10, 2014, 4:38 PM
    • State Street Corporation's (NYSE:STT) new fund, the SPDR SSgA Risk Aware ETF, is designed to provide investors with competitive returns, compared to the broad U.S. equity market, and capital appreciation.
    • “The SPDR SSGA Risk Aware ETF (NYSEARCA:RORO) is targeted at providing investors an innovative solution for capitalizing on risk-on and risk-off fluctuations in the US equity market,” said Scott Ebner, senior managing director and global head of product development and research at State Street Global Advisors, in a statement.
    • Managed by SSGA’s Active Quantitative Equity Group, the fund will employ their quantitative market risk measurement model to identify, quantify and benefit from risk factors moving the markets at any given time.
    • Other broad U.S. equity ETFs built to maximize returns: USMV, QUAL, BFOR, PWC, FAB, VLUE, VUSE, PDP, MTUM, MOM, MMTM, DWAQ
    | Sep. 10, 2014, 4:38 PM
  • 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
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  • Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
    | Jun. 3, 2014, 3:23 PM
  • 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
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