Part I: Top 20 ETFs Under $20
In the first of a four-part series, Benzinga takes a look at five of the top-20 ETFs currently trading under $20. Obviously, to compile the list we focused on ETFs trading under $20, but other factors that were heavily considered include volatility (i.e. how good these ETFs are as short term trades) and the potential for members of the list to eventually surpass the $20 barrier.
Without further ado, here are the first five members of Benzinga's “20 Under $20” list.
1) Global X FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF (NYSE: ASEA): ASEA made its debut back in February and after spending several months flying under investors' radars and delivering only tepid performance along with weak volume, this multi-country play has started to get things headed in the right direction. ASEA's recent performance in the face of the European debt crisis and the U.S. debt ceiling mess is admirable and the ETF is even positive over the past five trading days, no small feat.
In recent weeks, volume in ASEA has more than doubled and assets under management have jumped from just over $4 million to nearly $21 million. The ETF is starting to look sporty for the back half of this year.
2) Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE: TAN): TAN and its counterpart, the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSE: KWT), both of which trade under $10, have been hammered this year due to uncertainty surrounding European government subsidies for solar projects and poor profit guidance from their constituents. At this point, the negative news flow should be backed into TAN's share price and the trade is simple: A move below $6 means it's probably time to bail.
3) Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE: URA): Speaking of negative news flow, we present perhaps the most controversial ETF of 2011. If it's not the most controversial, then URA is easily one of the worst non-leveraged performers. That makes this ultimate potential play. Truth be told, URA has been showing some signs of life recently and cleared its 50-day moving average a few days ago. The longer the words “Japan” and “nuclear” stay out of the headlines, the more time URA has to pare its 2011 losses.
4) PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Long ETN (NYSE: DAG): There is plenty of leveraged fare out there languishing below $20, but that's not bad when it comes to DAG. It's actually a gift for short-term traders. With an ATR of 0.5 and the volatility of an ag play, DAG is a sound bet for short-term commodities gains.
5) iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU): IAU is no slouch when its comes to AUM with over $8.1 billion, but that is still well behind the total boasted by the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD), one of IAU's primary rivals. IAU undercuts GLD on expenses and is also backed by holdings of physical gold like its bigger competitor. Taking part in gold's uptrend for less than $16 is a pretty inviting prospect.
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