Five Forex ETFs Your Broker Forgot To Mention
Undoubtedly, there are plenty of high points to trading foreign currency. There is the convenience of a highly liquid, 24-hour market place. Got the itch to trade at midnight? No problem. Of course, there is the leverage factor as most forex brokers will extend 50-to-1 leverage (sometimes) more on account deposits of just a couple of hundred bucks.
With those big advantages come big risks, which is to say forex trading isn't for everyone, but everyone probably should consider some non-dollar denominated assets in their portfolios.
Enter ETFs. Currency ETFs are one corner of the ETF universe that have flourished in recent years and one that actually has room for growth as issuers continue to concoct new funds that are appealing to investors.
Simply put, some of the best currency ETFs are the ones that don't get a lot of press. We're talking about ETFs beyond the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP) and the CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSE: FXE). Here are some fine forex ETFs your broker probably forgot to mention.
1) PowerShares DB G10 Currency Harvest ETF (NYSE: DBV): Want to execute a carry trade without doing the work yourself? DBV has you covered as it is basically the “carry trade ETF.” Using futures contracts, DBV is usually long the five highest interest-rate securities in the G-10 and short the five lowest interest-rate counterparts. There you have a carry trade and an ETF that is up over 12% in the past year.
2) CurrencyShares Mexican Peso Trust (NYSE: FXM): One of the stronger charts you'll find among currency ETFs, FXM typically isn't the most talked-about currency fund out there, but if U.S. economic growth picks up and Mexico can land a credit rating upgrade or two, FXM stands to benefit.
3) CurrencyShares Swedish Krona Trust (NYSE: FXS): FXS is sort of a best of both worlds play as it enables investors to take advantage of dollar and euro weakness. As Benzinga noted yesterday, savvy Sweden has been able to reap the benefits of being an EU member without adopting the now imperiled common currency. A strong credit rating, steady economic growth and minimal chance of sovereign default make FXS an appealing play.
4) WisdomTree Commodity Currency Fund (NYSE: CCX): The term “commodity currency” has become more and more a part of the investment lexicon over the past few years leaving investors to wonder how to decide between Aussie or Canadian dollars or South African rands or commodity currency fare. CCX does the legwork for you and could prove to be the more sound bet over shorting dollars during commodities bull markets. CCX has actually outperformed the dollar bearish ETF, the PowerShares DB Dollar Bearish (NYSE: UDN) by a small margin this year.
5) WisdomTree Emerging Currency Fund (NYSE: CEW): Emerging markets equities may have flummoxed investors to this point in 2011, but the path of least resistance for many EM currencies is higher. Bond giant Pimco endorsed the EM currency theme earlier this week and that's good news for CEW, an ETF that offers exposure to the Mexican peso, Brazilian real, Chilean peso, South African rand, Polish zloty, Israeli shekel, Turkish lira, Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Taiwanese dollar, and Indian rupee.
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