Tuesday, 29 June 2021 11:46

In the face of record inflation, the Virtus Real Assets Income ETF (VRAI) has done extraordinarily well, up 19% year-to-date, and significantly beating the S&P 500, which is up 14%. On top of this, the ETF generates compelling income of 3%, well above the 10 Year US Treasuries at 1.5%.


Investing in real assets is a winning strategy in an inflationary environment because tangible assets such as real estate, natural resources and infrastructure have intrinsic value. VRAI is the first ETF focused on real assets. Additionally, because of VRAI’s focus on income-generating real assets, VRAI also generates attractive income.


In terms of ETF construction, VRAI is designed to be one-stop solution for real asset exposure. VRAI consists of 90 US-traded companies, equally divided between real assets, natural resources, and infrastructure. Companies are filtered based upon market capitalization and selected based upon dividend yield. All stocks are equally weighted to ensure portfolio diversification.


Finally, in terms of costs, VRAI is very competitively priced at 55 bps (0.55%). This stands stark contrast to most energy and real estate ETFs and mutual funds, which typically cost over 100 bps (or 1%).

For more information on the investment case, check out this research piece produced by Virtus

n.b. This is sponsored content and not FINSUM editorial

Morgan Stanley Warns Inflation is Rising

Why This Selloff May Change Everything

The Fed Might Take a Very Hawkish Turn

Friday, 27 January 2023 14:00

According to analysts, advisors are preparing for investor backlash regarding ESG investing amid divestments from red states. Several states such as Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, and Texas have threatened to pull pension funds from companies that boycott energy companies. In addition, anti-ESG firm Strive Asset Management recently launched a “financial educational campaign” aimed at encouraging investors to press advisors on ESG issues. Michele Giuditta, director of Cerulli Associates noted that during a 2022 poll, 46% of financial advisors cited the perception that ESG investing is politically motivated as a “significant deterrent to ESG adoption,” compared to just 16% in 2021. However, two-thirds of advisors say they consider ESG factors for at least a portion of their client accounts. Giuditta added, “Advisors will need to discuss the merits of ESG and sustainable investing with their clients and reinforce how and why asset managers are using relevant ESG data to drive long-term economic value.” Craig Kilgallen, relationship manager at Fuse Research, told Ignites that while state bans can discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager, the same may not be true for retail investors. He added, “As it relates to the intermediary world, I’ve anecdotally heard that firms are not changing the way ESG is discussed.”


Finsum:While state bans on ESG-focused managers may discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager,it won’t stop advisors from considering ESG for their clients.

Morningstar Bucket Models Outperform Market in 2022

Why Advisors Should Consider Technical Analysis

Shaping the Future of Investor Experience

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 02:14

Sure tech investors have had their share of ups and downs, but they have been largely insulated from the market’s bigger losses but things could change. The underlying trends in the technology sector are looking as bad as they have in a long time. There is severe weakness in consumer-oriented hardware products. Moreover, as supply chains relax these prices could fall further. Additionally, sub-sectors such as enterprise tech spending are starting to deteriorate. The weakening demand is beginning to show at the company level as earnings season shows signs of weakness in technology. While there have been outliers such as Cisco, the market might not be ready for widespread tech deterioration.


Finsum: The other huge problem is rising interest rates and rampant inflation which lower the value of future earnings and make growth stocks less attractive.

Musk Fires Off at Tesla Shorters

ESG: The Next Wave in Annuities

Musk Bashes ESG

Monday, 08 November 2021 17:07

Congress continues to look for ways to fund the $1.85 trillion bill that aims to spend on social and climate policy. While they have already considered objectives that would align the U.S. with the G20’s global minimum tax rate, the current bill will also affect wealthier individuals’ retirement vehicles. Congress will put limits on large accounts for individuals or couples with $10 million dollar retirement balances. The newest Build Back Better bill also eliminates the ‘backdoor’ Roth IRA by minimizing rollovers and conversions. The date for the former rule change isn’t until Dec. 31, 2028 but the backdoor loophole is set to close Dec. 31st of this year in the current bill.


FINSUM: Substantial changes to savings and retirement could be coming in the upcoming legislation, and investors should be aware of how these changes could affect their retirement vehicles.

If Republicans Sweep the Election These Stocks Win

Trump is Weakening in a Key Battleground State

Twitter Starts Undermining Trump

Saturday, 16 October 2021 10:19

The European Stockxx 600 was up .5% on Friday driven by earning releases in the banking sector. That trend followed around the globe as Asia-Pacific’s Taiex index boosted 2% and Wallstreet’s S&P was up 2%. It was strong financial earnings in U.S., and semiconductors in the East pushing the Taiex. All of this happens as inflations concerns continue in the U.S. as consumer prices rose 5.4% on the year, but the Euro areas are seeing the opposite results as monthly inflation was negative in France. The common price thread is definitely in energy prices as Brent crude hit $84.40 a barrel.


FINSUM: The trickling earning reports have generally exceeded expectations. That trend looks to continue, and global portfolios are not only diverse but are outperforming.

European Central Bank Takes on Climate Change

JP Morgan Says to Bet on International Stocks

Why it is a Great Time for International Stocks

Friday, 19 August 2022 22:13

The U.S. had two consecutive quarters of negative growth meeting the technical requirements of a recession, and for the first time in over 40 years that coincided with very high inflation. Tasked with generating high returns in a stagflation environment investors are turning to an odd place, emerging markets. While some EM has suffered as a result of a stronger dollar and Fed tightening, pockets are promising to bring big returns in higher growth environments abroad. Countries relying on exports will have a difficult time, but countries like India, Malaysia, and Indonesia all have fairly robust domestic consumer demand and are quick-growing economies. The last country is an oddball but China has continued to deliver stimulus throughout the pandemic and may put itself in a good position to capture investor attention.


Finsum: Equities abroad are ultra-low, finding the right countries with domestic consumer support could be very profitable.

Big Boost Coming for Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets Looking Bleak

You are Overlooking a Great Value Play

Sunday, 29 January 2023 03:41

Fidelity expanded its active fixed-income ETF lineup with the launch of the Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF (FTBD). FTBD, which now trades on the NYSE Arca, has an expense ratio of 0.55%. The fund is co-managed by Jeffrey Moore and Michael Plage and is measured against the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. The fund's portfolio can be allocated across the full spectrum of the debt market, including investment-grade, high-yield, and emerging markets debt securities across different maturities. Managers will consider the credit quality of the issuer, security-specific features, current and potential future valuation, and trading opportunities to select investments. The launch brings Fidelity’s lineup to 12 active fixed-income ETFs with about $3.9 billion in assets under management. Jamie Pagliocco, Fidelity’s Head of Fixed Income told VettaFi that “Fidelity is committed to offering investors choice and providing a diverse lineup of investment solutions. Fidelity’s fixed income lineup combines our extensive investment capabilities and expertise as an active manager to provide investors with a range of solutions across the fixed income risk spectrum and vehicle type, and Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF provides investors with another competitive offering to further expand client vehicle choice.”


Finsum:Fidelity expands its lineup of actively managed fixed-income ETFs with the launch of the Fidelity Tactical Bond ETF which can invest across the full spectrum of the debt market.

Investors Jumping into Bond ETFs to Start the Year

Analysts Expect Fixed-Income to Breathe New Life into 60/40 Portfolios

BlackRocks Launches Active AAA CLO ETF

Saturday, 14 January 2023 12:15

Warnings are piling up for high-yield bonds. The asset class could take a big hit if the Fed’s rate hikes push the U.S. economy into a recession, sparking rating downgrades and defaults. But that hasn’t stopped investors from piling into junk bond ETFs. In fact, of the nearly $11 billion that flooded into fixed-income ETFs over the past week, $1.6 billion flowed into the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the most of any fund, according to Bloomberg data. It’s difficult for investors to resist yields near the highest levels of the past decade according to CreditSights. Zachary Griffiths, a senior fixed-income strategist with CreditSights, said the following on Bloomberg Television, “Yields look too good to be short. The potential for returns in the 12% area makes high-yield an attractive place to be and we’re also more optimistic on the economic front, which is very important for our call.” With money flowing into high yield and other corporate credit, demand is falling for cash-like short-term bond ETFs. For example, more than $860 million flowed out of the iShares 0-3 Month Treasury Bond ETF (SGOV) in the past week, after $6.6 billion flowed into the fund last year.


Finsum:With yields on high-yield bonds near a ten-year high, it’s difficult for investors to resist junk bond ETFs, even with warnings piling up.

High Yield Bond ETFs Seeing a Jump in Inflows

Fixed income ETFs a player in portfolio construction

ETFs flexing muscle

Sunday, 29 January 2023 03:45

Alternative investment platform CAIS recently announced that a selection of Reverence Capital’s funds and education courses will be available to RIAs and independent broker-dealers on its platform. Reverence Capital Partners is a private investment firm focused on financial services-focused private equity and structured credit. Mercer will provide third-party due diligence on the funds. As part of the announcement, Milton Berlinski, managing partner at Reverence, stated, “Through our experience across asset and wealth management, we’ve seen the challenges associated with accessing and selecting quality private market products. CAIS is uniquely positioned to provide the technological and educational resources to help tackle these concerns.” The partnership is taking place during an opportune time as a recent CAIS/Mercer study found that approximately 88% of financial advisors intend to increase their allocations to alternative asset classes over the next two years. Matt Brown, founder and chief executive officer of CAIS added, “With allocations to alternatives expected to continue rising in 2023, we believe that adding additional quality alternative products on the CAIS Platform is essential to empowering advisors to gain confidence in meeting client expectations.” CAIS serves more than 7,400 advisory firms and teams overseeing a total of more than $3 trillion in assets. Reverence Capital has about $8 billion in assets under management.


Finsum:With more than 88% of advisors intending to increase their alternative allocations, a selection of Reverence Capital’s funds will now be available to RIAs and independent broker-dealers on CAIS’s alternative investment platform.

$112 Million Advisor Leaves Merrill Lynch for Alex. Brown

Two Teams of Advisors Join LPL’s Linsco

New Age Alpha Launches Direct Indexing Platform SPACE

Friday, 06 January 2023 04:02

Last year was a terrible year for the markets, even for many hedge funds. According to investment data firm Preqin, hedge fund returns were down 6.5% in 2022, the largest drop since the 13% decline in 2008 during the financial crisis. That’s why global hedge fund managers are preparing for persistent inflation by seeking exposure to commodities and bonds that perform well in inflationary environments. A majority of 10 global asset and hedge fund managers that were surveyed by Reuters said commodities are undervalued and should thrive as global inflation stays elevated this year. In addition, they are also seeking inflation-linked bonds to shield against price rises, and exposure to certain corporate credit, as higher rates restore differentiation in company bond spreads. For instance, London-based hedge fund manager, Crispin Odey is betting inflation will remain high. He told Reuters that "Commodities will start to rise again. They've sold off very heavily and are below operating costs in many instances." Danielle Pizzo, chief strategy officer at Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, told Reuters that her firm “Aims to focus more on investment grade and high-yield bonds this year as well as commodities.”


Finsum:Hedge funds, which saw the largest drop in performance last year since the financial crisis, are concerned about persistent inflation and are seeking exposure to commodities and select bonds.

Gold Bulls See Second Stimulus Package as Tipping Point for Another Run

Gold May Be Ready to Head Higher

Time to Load Up on Gold

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 02:16

The U.S. has an extended history of periods of financial regulation, specifically trust-busting. That period has been in hibernation though for the last 50 years, that is, until now. Many judges in the United States may be getting a slue of cases related to similar topics with mergers and competition as Private Equity has extended its ownership to unprecedented levels. There is more alignment than ever within the administration on the future of competition and private equity when it comes to policy. They are pursuing new readings and interpretations of longer-standing precedents that will be more stringent on PE. This new strain of regulation has long-standing Democratic Economists like Larry Summers voicing concern, calling the new policies ‘populist antitrust’.


Finsum: There have been a large number of papers on the effect of co-ownership and competition that private equity companies are imposing, and that could be reaching its peak.

Alternative Asset Demand Expected to Grow 46%

BNY Develops Model Portfolios for UBS

Fidelity Moves Alternative

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