Individual Investors

Latest Reddit campaign for Silver may be on the money

Feb 05, 2021

Demand for silver skyrocketed this week, off the back of the latest campaign from Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets group. Investors may wonder what’s beyond the frenzy and whether the Reddit campaign has unexpected substance to it. Download the complete article here The Reddit Story Following a bid to counter short-selling of GameStop, r/wallstreetbets turned its collective eyes to silver. With the claim from some segments within the Reddit group that silver prices were being held artificially low by bank and hedge fund manipulation and short-selling, amateur investors piled in to purchase silver ETFs and mining companies in a bid to push prices up. There were record volumes for trades into US silver ETFs on Monday 2 February 2021 and prices rose to eight-year highs. While the GameStop campaign may have been successful in pushing prices up, silver is a different story for a few reasons. Firstly, silver is a far larger, more complicated and more valuable market compared to the much smaller share pool of GameStop. Silver is used and purchased for industrial and investment purposes and only a portion of the world’s silver reserves is traded on stock exchanges. Effectively, there are more factors influencing the prices of silver than simply share trading. Secondly, there are only limited short positions in silver, in fact, most banks and investment managers hold long positions on silver and held a positive outlook on silver’s prospects prior to the Reddit rally¹. By contrast, there were concerns over GameStop’s future before Reddit warriors pushed prices up to levels that are now considered vastly inflated compared to the company’s financial position and prospects. While the rationale for the silver Reddit rally may be flawed (and there are questions over the extent Reddit really caused the rally), investors may have inadvertently selected an asset with a promising outlook and potential benefits to a portfolio. It is up to investors to take the time to assess the value of silver before selling up when the frenzy eases. The drivers of silver and it's outlook in 2021 Silver has a range of uses and more than 50% of demand is for industrial purposes, such as in cars, solar panels, medical equipment and electrical circuits². Annually, over 36 million ounces of silver is used in motor vehicle production³ and this is predicted to grow to nearly 90 million ounces by 20254 Silver is also antimicrobial, which makes it popular in medical use5. In 2020, silver supply and demand was affected by COVID-19 with lockdowns dampening industrial demand, while mining production also fell and impacted supply. Industrial production is tipped to ramp up in 2021, supported by government stimulus packages globally, the rollout of vaccines and the prospect of economic recovery. In turn, demand for silver is likely to increase in line with this. Further, silver is heavily used in renewable energy systems, such as solar panels and as part of electronics. Silver is also likely to benefit from the refocused efforts on climate change globally, with a number of major renewable energy projects announced, such as the NSW government’s $32 billion renewable energy plan6. Investment demand for silver was also trending upwards from late 2020, with investors looking for alternative safe-havens to gold. Silver-backed exchange-traded products (ETPs) surpassed 1 billion ounces for the first time7. Silver can be used as a store of value and traditionally offers positive performance during periods of low interest rates. With the prospect of continued low global interest rate and concerns over potential inflation, investors have shown increased interest in exposure to this precious metal. To read more download the complete article

Download now

Three trends for 2021

Jan 25, 2021

Investors may be feeling a cautious sense of optimism as we enter 2021 with global vaccine rollouts. Last year, technology companies and commodities were investment winners, so what will 2021 hold for investment markets? There are three trends we see influencing ETF investments in 2021: the movement to value, thematic investing and short & leveraged investing. Download the complete paper here Movement to value As news of vaccines hit markets in late 2020, investors started to shift their approach away from a pure growth focus and towards value investments such as banks and industrials. This trend is likely to continue in 2021 as investors anticipate a return to ‘normal’ and start to view growth stocks, particularly in the technology sector, as overpriced. The Australian sharemarket is strongly skewed towards financials and resources, including companies typically falling into value investments. Investors could consider tailored Australian exposures such as ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF (ASX Code: ZYAU). Thematic investing with climate and biotechnology Investors are increasingly interested in tailored investments accessing the growth themes of the future, as well as being able to invest according to their views and values. ETFs targeting specific themes should continue to be prominent in the coming year and investors are becoming more aware of how to use these as part of their portfolios. While themes like virtual connectivity will continue to be popular, dynamics in the coming year should mean climate change and biotechnology will be focus points for investors. Investors considering thematic investing may wish to look at ETF Securities’ Future Present Range of ETFs. Those specifically interested in biotechnology may consider ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX Code: CURE). Alternatively, investors focused on renewable energy may consider battery technology which is a key supporter for the viability of renewable energy. ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX Code: ACDC) is the only Australian-listed ETF to offer exposure to the global battery technology supply chain. Short and leveraged investments Across the volatility of 2020, many self-directed sophisticated investors took a short-term approach to trading and embraced short & leveraged funds. As the world continues to recover from COVID-19 and manages the ongoing tension in global relationships, use of short and leveraged instruments is likely to continue along with continued bouts of volatility. Some sophisticated investors may anticipate changes in growth sectors like technology as the world opens again and choose short-term investments reflecting their views. For more information on the short & leveraged investments offered by ETF Securities, please click here. Moving forward in 2021 The last year was unexpected and has shifted global investment behaviour and dynamics. The Australian ETF market will continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of investors and if the past year is any indication, investors are looking for opportunities and increasingly using ETFs for their market exposure.

Download now

How to use India in your investments

Dec 15, 2020

India’s star is on the rise with many nations, including Australia, seeking to forge closer trade partnerships. Investors may wonder whether they should consider investing in India and the ways in which to include it in their portfolios. There are a range of options for investors to consider. Why consider India for your investments? Many investors are interested in emerging markets as a diversification strategy in their portfolio, with the Asian region typically attractive. The Asian region has a well-documented growth case in terms of a growing middle-class and economic prospects. Though China is typically front of mind, investors shouldn’t discount other countries, such as India, as valid options. Investors should be aware that India has continued to struggle with COVID-19, however, it is starting to show signs of recovery. India’s future is dominated by three key growth drivers: Infrastructure investment – India has committed to a US$1.4tr infrastructure investment by 20251 which can offer short term benefits such as employment, and longer term benefits in the form of useful water management, ports and roads to improve access and lifestyle for a population as well as businesses. Reform and fiscal policies – government reforms, such as the simplified GST program, have assisted in opening the country to internal and foreign business investment. There are also active efforts to support the ongoing growth of the country through fiscal spending and monetary policy. Consumption – India is expected to see the percentage of households in poverty drop from 15% to 5% by 20302 posing tremendous business opportunities as more consumers are able to afford more than the basics. Ways to invest in India It can be difficult for investors to directly access the Indian market for listed shares. From this perspective, investors could consider other options such as: Direct investment in companies with business operations in India listed in Australia or internationally. Actively or passively managed funds that focus on Asia, themes relevant to Asia or India, or specifically focus on India. ETFS-NAM India Nifty 50 ETF (ASX Code: NDIA) is the only fund in Australia that offers exposure to the Indian economy via its benchmark index, the NSE Nifty50 Index. NDIA includes exposure to the 50 largest and most liquid companies listed on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and represents more than 60% of the market capitalisation of India. How to use India in a portfolio Investors can consider investing in India from a few perspectives. Regional diversification Diversification is used by many investors to manage risks specific to countries and regions. Spreading investments across a range of regions, such as India, can assist with this as well as offering exposure to different economic drivers compared to Australia or the US. From this perspective, it could be considered part of the core investments within a portfolio. A thematic investment Investors may consider an investment in India as a form of exposure to the broader trend for the growth of the middle-class across Asia. This may see the investment form part of the satellite portion of a portfolio to tilt towards thematic investments. Growth opportunity Investors looking for long-term growth opportunities could consider India within growth allocations in either the core or satellite of a portfolio given its prospects and activity. For more information on investing in India or ETFS-NAM India Nifty 50 ETF (ASX Code: NDIA), please speak to ETF Securities. 1 Source: India 2030: exploring the Future; National Infrastructure Pipeline 2

Download now

The value of gold in your portfolio

Nov 03, 2020

Gold can seem like a mysterious asset, but data suggests it has a clear value in a portfolio. Setting the price Gold prices are set by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) which also incorporates specific global standards for gold sales and receipt. According to the World Gold Council, there are four broad sets of drivers to indicate gold’s performance1 which vary in their influence at different points in time. Economic expansion: gold is used in jewellery, technology and long-term savings. These are areas that experience a boost in times of economic growth. These are also periods where inflation and interest rates may rise, and gold is traditionally viewed as a hedge against inflation. Risk and uncertainty: gold has traditionally acted as a store of value in uncertain times and its demand can go up in market downturns, for example, demand increased in the early months of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunity costs: the costs and returns of other assets, such as bonds and currencies, can increase or decrease investor interest in gold. Momentum: price trends, the use of riskier investments and general investment flows can direct demand for and therefore the price of gold. The investment value of gold Gold is included in portfolios for a myriad of reasons – diversification, growth, as a hedge against inflation, and for a volatility safe-haven. These reasons are backed by the data. Gold has a low (and at times, negative) correlation to other assets as shown in the following chart. This means it performs differently to other asset classes thus assisting with diversification and in volatile periods in other asset classes. Gold has also offered positive performance over the longer term against other asset classes as shown in the following chart: Allocating to gold in a portfolio Gold allocations traditionally spread from 2-10% of a portfolio depending on risk tolerance and market conditions. For many investors, taking a flexible approach may be the answer, dialling up or down allocations based on individual client portfolio needs and market activity. For example, some financial advice firms, like Stockspot, have used a slightly higher allocation of 12% in recent times. Using an ETF like ETFS Physical Gold (ASX Code: GOLD) may be a suitable option for many portfolios as it offers a low-cost, liquid and easy to use exposure without the need for physical storage. Contact us to find out more about GOLD and using gold in your portfolio. Client Services Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: 1

Download now

How to use thematic investing in your portfolio

Nov 02, 2020

Thematic investing exposes your portfolio to some of the major socioeconomic, environmental and technological themes of our times in a tailored way. So what does this actually mean and how can you use thematic investing in your portfolio? Download the whitepaper, here. What is thematic investing? Thematic portfolios look at long-term macro trends, such as robotics and automation, and then use various screens and information sources to identify the companies or assets which support this trend through infrastructure or services. It can span several sectors or even asset classes, for example, a thematic investment in technology is likely to include companies within the technology sector as well as those in other sectors which access this trend, such as Amazon or Netflix. Investment themes should be: Universal rather than specific to just one company or region1. Sustainable over longer periods, in some cases 20 years or more. Based on known patterns and pressures2. Some examples of well documented themes include virtual connectivity, ecommerce, biotechnology, the growth of the middle-class in Asia and climate change. How to use thematic investing in your portfolio Thematic investments are versatile and can be used in a range of ways, such as: To complement the equities component in the core of a portfolio. As a tactical tilt in the satellite portion of a portfolio towards trends or for growth. As a diversification tool to broaden from typical assets in a portfolio core. Whichever way investors choose to incorporate thematic investing within their portfolios, they should still consider the suitability for themselves and their portfolio, along with the risks involved - including risks that may be specific to a particular theme. Investors can consider a variety of options to access themes in their portfolios, such as: Direct shares in companies associated with a theme. Actively managed funds. Exchange traded funds (ETFs). Investors should be aware of different fees, minimum investments, brokerage, tax implications and W-8 BEN forms for some investments. There are different risks and benefits to using any of these approaches. Thematic investments offer investors the chance to be an active participant in the major forces driving human progress. They can also be the opportunity for investors to incorporate their passions within their investments, or even to have the potential of holding the ‘next big thing’ in a more manageable format. The increasing availability of tailored thematic investments in the market means they are more accessible than ever for investors to consider their suitability and fit for their needs, goals and portfolios. For more information on using thematic investments, please speak to ETF Securities. Client Services Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: 1 2

Download now

ETFs versus LICs – which is best for my portfolio?

Aug 06, 2020 investments editor Kylie Purcell explains the differences between ETFs and LICs. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) and listed investment companies (LICs) are both popular investment options within Australia. Although they share a number of similarities, there are also important differences to consider as an investor. We’ll look at some of the main differences between the pair to help you decide which is best for your portfolio. What is an ETF? An ETF is a type of investment fund that trades on a stock exchange – similarly to regular shares. ETFs invest in a basket of assets, such as stocks, commodities and bonds. ETFs will often track a particular market index such as the S&P/ASX 200. Rather than trying to outperform this index, these “passive” ETFs aim to closely mimic the index performance. This means your returns will rise and fall in line with the tracked index. What is a LIC? A LIC is a publicly listed company (hence the name, listed investment company) that operates like a managed fund. Like an ETF, LICs may invest in a variety of assets, including stocks, property and bonds. The main similarity is that both ETFs and LICs allow you to invest in a diversified portfolio. This may include a single asset class, such as stocks or bonds, or it could hold multiple assets. You also invest in a LIC in much the same way as an ETF – over a stock exchange. Unlike ETFs, LICs issue a fixed number of shares that investors can buy or sell on the stock market (usually the ASX). This means that the price of a LIC is partly determined by demand from investors and may not always be liquid. In some scenarios, an investor might be forced to sell their LIC shares at an undesirable price if there aren’t enough buyers in the market. On the other hand, ETFs are known as ‘open-ended’ investments, meaning the number of ETF units in circulation is not fixed. Instead, units can be issued and removed based on demand. This means that supply and demand have less of an impact on ETF prices than the underlying portfolio itself. What are the main differences between the ETFs and LICs? Structure A LIC is structured as a company, so if you decide to invest in a LIC, you’ll own shares in the LIC itself, rather than the underlying assets. An ETF, on the other hand, is a unit trust, which means you’ll receive units in the fund if you decide to invest. Strategy ETFs typically offer exposure to an entire market, region or market sector such as global health or technology stocks. They have the potential to track hundreds or even thousands of stocks. Although not always the case, most ETFs are passive investment products, meaning they either track an index or use filters to decide which stocks are included in the fund. LICs, on the other hand, actively select each individual asset to invest in. The LIC will have an investment team responsible for choosing and managing the company’s investments. Tax obligations Because an ETF is a unit trust, all tax obligations are passed on to investors. Any dividends and franking credits are passed directly to unitholders. With a LIC, all dividends are paid to the company and it’s at the discretion of management whether to pass on that income or reinvest the money back into the fund. If the LIC receives unfranked dividends from the underlying investments, it will typically pay tax on those dividends at the company tax rate and deliver franked dividends to shareholders. Cost ETFs are relatively cheap because they aim to track an index rather than outperform it. LICs tend to cost more because they have investment managers deciding which assets to invest in. If the manager outperforms the benchmark, this may result in additional fees. Both ETFs and LICs are an affordable way to invest in a wide asset pool. Management fees are generally lower than traditional managed funds (although these can differ depending on whether the fund is passively or actively managed). Both investment options offer high liquidity and provide access to a diverse range of assets in a single trade. Purchasing ETFs or LICs – or both – can be advantageous, but it’s important to understand how your money will be invested beforehand. One of the biggest factors for most investors is how aligned prices are with the underlying assets, i.e. the net asset value (NAV). Because ETFs have an open-ended structure, the price of the ETF will trade very closely to the NAV. So if the value of the stocks held by the ETF rise, the price of the ETF will rise with it. This is not always the case with LICs. They may trade at a premium (above) or discount (below) NAV, depending on how many buyers and sellers are trading LIC shares. So if stocks held by the LIC go up, but investors still aren’t willing to buy, its share price may not rise. More information about Finder. For information about ETF Securities range of products, please contact us or visit our product pages. Client Services Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email:

Download now