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

Monday, 24 January 2022 09:34

David Booth’s Dimensional Advisors hasn’t been a part of the active ETF market for long in fact just a meager 14 months, but that hasn’t stopped it from rising to the top of the active market. Since last November they have rocketed to over $46 billion in active assets. Overall active management is growing rapidly and going to be a trillion-dollar trend of converting mutuals to ETF’s. However, Dimensional’s newly launched active fixed-income is flying off the shelves with nearly $1 billion in assets since their inception in November. While the lion’s share has been converted, this fixed-income segment is among some of the fastest pure growth in the fixed income ETF market.


FINSUM: Within the ETF segment, active ETFs have been growing strongly, and this is at the forefront of a new trend.

Jamie Dimon Gets Ultra Bearish

Goldman Makes a Very Bearish Call on 2022

JPMorgan Gets Very Bullish

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 19:33

Exchange-traded funds focusing on environmental, social and governance themes have been one of the fastest-growing market segments in a couple of years, but so far have yet to reach the acceleration in Asia as they have in the U.S. and EU, until now. The most recent data from the Asian Pacific has more than 1.5x as many funds starting in the first half of 2021 than all of 2020. The asset flows are even more staggering. Inflows since in the first half of 2021 are 10x larger than all of 2016, and they have almost already reached 2020’s $2bn. The standout countries are Australie, China, and Taiwan which comprise over 85% of all the ESG ETF assets. Moreover, these trends are expected to continue with more advantages on transparency and liquidity than other market segments.


FINSUM: These are astounding numbers for ESG growth, and faster-growing economies might not have the incoming restrictions to ESG the US could be facing.

A New ESG Trend

Franklin Templeton Finalizes Custom Indexing Deal

One Big Bubble Just Burst, Could the S&P 500 be Next?

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, 05 November 2021 18:21

Monetary policy is diverging in emerging markets with some countries keeping policy rates low and others beginning to tighten, and investors are beginning to make a ruling. Countries like Russia, Columbia and South Korea all experienced currency appreciation due to tighter policy, and certain investment classes are being rewarded. Bond markets are signaling a yield curve inversion in Russia, pricing in future rate hikes, but this has been okay for oil exports. While at the other end, Turkey saw its yield curve climb and its currency—the lira—perform poorly in October. There were mixed signals from Brazil, where the fiscal policy signaled lots of public spending. The monetary policy started to tighten to curb inflation, and as a result, markets punished the Brazilian real.


FINSUM: There are diverging schools of thought globally as to how to respond to the combination of the world’s energy crisis and the lingering Covid-19 pandemic.

Emerging Markets Looking Bleak

You are Overlooking a Great Value Play

JPMorgan Says This is How to Outperform in EMs

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 17:50

(New York)

The market took a nosedive in the middle of the day today as investors were walloped with a hot CPI inflation reading. The CPI rose an eye-popping 5.4% in June, with core inflation coming in at 4.5%. The market was anticipating a flat 5.0% CPI number. Indexes turned downward immediately following the report. It should be noted than June 2020 was the nadir of the pandemic inflation readings, so that makes this report look even bigger.


FINSUM: The inflation boogeyman returns. Beware a big sell-off across the board in bonds, especially if the Fed or a member of the Fed makes any tightening comments.

The Fed Just Brought a Bazooka

Bond ETFs are Surging

The Fed is Considering a Big Change That Will Help Markets

Monday, 24 January 2022 09:38

If the treasury market isn’t upside down it’s certainly moving there. Yields are rising which means prices are falling. The worst part is with inflation picking up there is a lot of room to move in longer-term treasury bonds. So where should investors turn to? Fallen angel bonds and their associated funds. Fallen angels are investment-grade bonds that have been recently downgraded to junk status. The biggest benefactor is that these relatively riskier bonds have a way higher return but there is less interest rate pass-through. That means as the Fed begins to strangle the government bond market the lower-grade corporate bonds won’t feel much of the pain. Many of these corporations have relatively strong balance sheets and the risk is overblown, so profits can recover quickly.


FINSUM: The fallen angel fixed income ETF market has an incredible yield advantage, and there is so much fiscal and monetary support that the risk is probably smaller than the yields are saying.

Four Active ETFs for Income Outperformance

Fidelity’s Launching a New Guaranteed Income Product

Infrastructure Investing: The Pure-Play Advantage

Wednesday, 26 January 2022 12:15

Wells Fargo has been one of the dominant figures trying to improve advisor headcount and it looks as though some of those efforts are paying off. Steven Tahn is moving from JPMorgan, where he has been since 2012, and bringing $2 million in GCD as well. Wells has had a series of declines for the last couple of years and has fallen short of targets when it comes to recruiting and retention. However, signs of improvement are there and their series of penalties and bonuses for client retention could be starting to pay off.


FINSUM: We’ll be keeping our eyes on the biggest changes in recruiting and retention in 2022 among financial advisory firms.

The SEC Has a New Regulatory Target

Fidelity is Taking Direct Indexing Mainstream

Tax Loss Harvesting Must Pay Attention to Crypto

Friday, 28 January 2022 14:20

The Biden Admin has been tip-toeing around crypto regulation since it came into office, but now those public statements are actually materializing in the form of regulation. A top town security memorandum is expected to come down the pipes in the next few weeks which will task separate government agencies to develop regulatory policies around crypto, NFTs, and stable coins. The State Department, Treasury Department, National Economic Council, Council of Economic advisors, and White House Security Council will all be on the job. While the Whitehouse will avoid regulatory suggestions they are putting the burden on these agencies to propose stricter rules.


FINSUM: Crypto regulation isn’t necessarily bad; it's just another closer step toward legitimizing digital currencies in the eyes of countries around the globe.

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