Do These ETFs Deserve The Warning Label? (INCO, AND, PJB)
Follow ETFs and ETNs long enough and it becomes apparent this is a business like any other. There are dominant funds, pretenders with legitimate potential and some with such low volume and assets under management that no one would really care if these funds dropped off the map tomorrow.
In fact, there's an entire list devoted to low AUM sparsely traded ETFs. It pays to note that list isn't permanent condemnation of its current members and the roster changes as funds close or gain assets and volume.
Ron Rowland's ETF Deathwatch list, which had almost 300 members at the end of February, is comprised ETFs that have been around more than six months and have had less than $5 million in AUM for three consecutive months.
Those are fair measuring sticks, but there is also something to be said for some of the funds on the list. As in just because an ETF is on life support, doesn't mean it can't make you money.
We culled the list for funds offering solid returns this year, stripping out leveraged and inverse ETFs, obscure commodities ETNs, funds that have had closures announced since the list was last published and target date funds to focus mainly on sector and country funds.
These are some "life support" ETFs that might deserve a chance.
EGShares India Consumer ETF (NYSE: INCO) The EGShares India Consumer ETF has a legitimate fundamental story behind it and that may be enough to help the fund skirt the ETF graveyard. Admittedly, not a single share has changed hands in INCO today as of this writing, but it's also worth noting the fund is up more than 20% year-to-date.
PowerShares Dynamic Banking Portfolio (NYSE: PJB) It might come as a surprise to some that iShares and PowerShares, the largest and fourth-largest U.S. ETF sponsors, respectively, have plenty of funds on the Deathwatch List. One of them is the PowerShares Dynamic Banking Portfolio. PJB doesn't even trade 3,800 shares per day, an indication, the ETF is overshadowed by funds such as the Financial Select SPDR (NYSE: XLF). The real surprise might just be that in the past year PJB has outperformed XLF by a decent margin.
IndexIQ Global Oil Small Cap Equity ETF (NYSE: IOIL) Before you go running to throw some cash at the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLE), consider this: IOIL, which actually has garnered some press, has offered roughly double the returns as XLE this year. Rising oil prices and investors embracing small-caps could help IOIL lose its ominous deathwatch status.
Global X Andean FTSE 40 ETF (NYSE: AND) The Global X Andean FTSE 40 ETF is not without its supporters and quiet as it's kept, the ETF has offered comparable returns in 2012 to the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ). And with concerns about the Brazilian economy creeping into the market recently, AND might prove to be the better bet because it offers no Brazil exposure.
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