‘ David Stevenson ’

ETF themes for 2014

Jan 11th, 2014 | By
ETF themes for 2014 by David Stevenson

By David Stevenson, ETF Strategy columnist. This week, I’m going to dust off the trusty old crystal ball and gaze into the future for all things exchange-traded fund (ETF) related. I’ll stay away from making any big bold investment predictions, largely because I have no better track record in this department than anyone else. I’m much more interested in what kinds of ETFs I think investors might be buying in the coming twelve months. I’ll cover growth stocks, China A-shares, MLPs, infrastructure, senior loans, clean energy, multi-asset class funds and active ETFs.

China ETFs: What’s your A-shares strategy like?

Jan 4th, 2014 | By
Moody’s finds MSCI A-Share inclusion positive for Chinese equity markets

By David Stevenson – What’s your A-shares strategy like? I ask this rather obscure question because it seems like everyone in the world of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is obsessed with the coming deluge of China A-shares ETFs. It is, I am reliably told, a BIG THING! My guess is that within a year, no self-respecting ETF issuer will be caught dead in public without an A-shares product up their sleeve! In the US, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and its local Chinese partner Harvest Global Investments have kicked off the fun and games with the first US-listed A-shares ETF and I am informed that others are on their way, including potentially products from KraneShares and Market Vectors.

ETF strategies for rising interest rates

Dec 8th, 2013 | By
ETF strategies for interest rate rises

By David Stevenson. It is, of course, one of the least well kept secrets within the shady world of international finance, that at some stage our collective national pension scheme pots will be mutilated by a substantial fall in the value of government securities particularly, and bonds generally, following an interest rate increase. Fortunately for investors there’s a whole host of innovative ETFs out there to help mitigate portfolios from such a scenario.

Nordic ETFs in focus

Nov 18th, 2013 | By
Solactive launches Nordic 150 Index

By David Stevenson – Talk to the clever folks at Lombard Odier about how they use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and one simple proposition comes across: investing in national market ETFs is a cheap and effective way of buying certain style drifts within the complex and noisy world of equity markets. Country indices and their accompanying ETFs typically represent a diversified universe of stocks. What then are we to make of the db X-trackers MSCI Nordic Index UCITS ETF (DR) (XDN0), a recently launched ETF from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management?

Thematic investing: Playing the linear link challenge

Oct 27th, 2013 | By
Thematic investing: Playing the linear link challenge

In this column I’d like to introduce what I rather inelegantly call the “linear link challenge”. In the real world of investing, pure ideas and strategies end up becoming horribly messy – we see a trend or a process at work and we try and find some way of ‘playing’ that via basket of shares or a fund. Cue the linear challenge. Is there actually a direct link between that process or change (i.e. investment theme) and an actual, easy-to-buy fund or group of shares? If there isn’t, we’re forced to rely on indirect ‘surrogates’ to make our play.

Low volatility ETFs: do they stack up?

Oct 12th, 2013 | By
MSCI reports fear of extreme events rising higher

By David Stevenson – Apologies for sounding like a broken record, but I want to return yet again to the hoary old subject of smart beta and the voguish hunt for minimal volatility. Lyxor’s recent cross-listing of the Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI World Risk Weighted (WDRL) on the London Stock Exchange has prompted me to ascertain whether the first wave of low volatility ETFs (I include minimum volatility and minimum variance ETFs in this grouping) has actually delivered on their promise.

White label platforms and ETF innovation

Oct 10th, 2013 | By
White label platforms and ETF innovation

By David Stevenson – A few weeks back you may have noticed that London-based ETF Securities launched the first salvos in what I think will be an absolutely fascinating decade-long war – the inexorable rise of the White Label ETF Platform. ETF Securities’ platform, known as Canvas, looks to answer a classic conundrum – how does a traditional asset manager (be it in the hedge fund space or traditional mutual funds) look to jump into an exciting new product area such as ETFs without years of experience in that segment?

Emerging market ETFs redux

Oct 10th, 2013 | By
Emerging markets ETF redux by David Stevenson

By David Stevenson – In this column I want to tempt fate and suggest that now might be the time to think again about tiptoeing back into emerging markets and building exposure using ETFs. Now, long-term readers of this column in ETF Strategy will immediately start shaking their head and remind me that I’ve been a fairly optimistic type for some emerging markets for at least the last six months – over which time I’d note emerging markets stocks have started a quiet but steady rebound!

Smart beta bandwagon makes first big pit stop in commodities space

Sep 13th, 2013 | By
Horizons ETFs launches developed markets futures ETF

By David Stevenson – Over the last decade commodity trackers have literally come from nowhere to emerge as the next big thing in the world of alternative assets. But that huge success has also thrust the humble commodity index into the spotlight – many investors still struggle to understand why the main index families are so radically different or how futures-based structures can cope with the long-term effect of the roll yield. That debate has prompted many investors to demand better indices, and a small but hardy bunch of ETP pioneers has reacted by dabbling around with what are in effect next-generation indices.

Playing the FX game

Sep 10th, 2013 | By
SSGA rolls out currency-hedging for Bloomberg Barclays global aggregate bond ETF

By David Stevenson – I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the world of foreign exchange (FX) investing. On paper the global FX markets are hugely attractive to investors, largely because they are so open, so liquid and so broad. That doesn’t mean that making money from them using currency trading, for instance, is even remotely easy. In fact, I take the diametrically opposite view.