Jan 26, 2018
The S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.74% last week with healthcare and materials sectors driving the performance. The S&P 500 continued its positive start to 2018 gaining 2.23%; the EURO STOXX 50 was flat and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index showed no sign of abating, returning over 3% for the week. The Australian dollar took advantage of the weakening USD and closed above US81c on Friday. The weaker USD helped commodities in general, up 2.55% as measured by the Bloomberg Commodities Index and gold ended the week at USD1,349/oz. Oil prices rose 4.37%, ending at US$66/bbl and bringing the YtD return to 9.47%. BetaShares Crude Oil Index ETF (OOO) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 4.46% gain, while the ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was dragged down 3.37%. The domestic Australian ETF market saw strong net inflows last week of $76m. The largest inflows were into iShares Core Composite Bond ETF (IAF) and also into the Platinum International Fund ETF (PIXX) while the largest outflow was seen in iShares Core Global Corporate Bond AUD Hedged ETF (IHCB).
Jan 22, 2018
How the Future Present series fits your portfolio Trade idea – ETF Securities Future Present series i. ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF (TECH) ii. ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) Key Takeaways: Technology was the top performing sector in 2017, returning 39% for the calendar year and contributing 25% of the total global equity market return(1). The pace of innovation continues to grow and adoption of new technologies in fields such as robotics and AI is quickly spreading across many industries. Adding funds like TECH and ROBO to an otherwise diversified portfolio offers investors unique opportunities to capture any future growth in this sector, while also reducing overall portfolio risk. (1) Source: Bloomberg data as at 18 January 2017. Information technology companies contributed 5.73% to the total return of 23.06% of the MSCI World Index in 2017. Future Proofing Portfolios Investors looking to future-proof their portfolios in 2018 should consider the opportunities that are presented by investing in new technology and innovation. Fields such as robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAII), in particular, are forecast to grow massively in the coming years and impact almost every industry by providing key enabling technologies and new applications for existing technologies. Investments in technology have traditionally been viewed as high return/high risk, however in recent years the established players in the technology world have become highly cash generative and broadly entrenched in our everyday lives. This has given many technology companies defensive, counter-cyclical characteristics that are traditionally more associated with utilities and real estate investments and has changed the way many investors look at the technology sector. ETF Securities Future Present Range The Future Present range of ETFs allows investors to combine well-established technology firms with strong competitive advantages, using TECH, with highly innovative firms from the exciting world of RAII, using ROBO. The below study explores the impact of adding the Future Present range to a simple, diversified ETF portfolio consisting of Australian equities, international equities, fixed income, gold and property. Hypothetical portfolio allocations are detailed in Charts 1 and 2 below: Over the four years of available history, adding a 10% allocation to the Future Present range (5% each to TECH and ROBO), while keeping the allocation to equities constant, not only improves the overall total return by 0.84% per annum, but also reduces the portfolio volatility by 0.95%2. Charts 3 to 6, below, show the risk return characteristics of the two portfolios as well as each of the constituents over 1, 2, 3 and 4 years. Benefits to Your Portfolio Apparent from the four charts below is the strong historical performance of the Future Present ETFs, with the two funds ranking first and second on the basis of returns across all tenors. With regards to volatility or risk, as measured by standard deviation, TECH and ROBO are at the higher end, though not substantially more volatile than either the Australian or international equity ETFs or gold. In all four cases, however, diversification benefits are seen in that adding above average risk investments lowers the overall portfolio risk in all cases, providing investors with better risk/return profiles. This is particularly true for Australian investors with high portfolio allocations to the domestic market, which is very underweight the technology sector. Source: Morningstar Direct as at 31 December 2017. Benchmark index returns are used as a proxy for TECH and ROBO due to insufficient fund history. Returns in AUD. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. These graphs illustrate the trade-off between risk (standard deviation or volatility around the mean) and reward (expected or average return). The ideal position is within the upper left quadrant of the graphs. Placement here indicates that the portfolio returned more than the risk-free benchmark (typically the yield on high quality government bonds) with lower volatility. The bottom right corner is the least desirable, since this represents highest risk with lowest return
Jan 19, 2018
The S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.1% last week, dragged down by underperformance in the energy and telecoms sectors. The S&P 500 rose 0.86% to record highs, the EURO STOXX 50 reached 10 year highs gaining 1.01%, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index continued its positive start to the year, returning 2.02% for the week. The Australian dollar was relatively flat, hovering just below US80c. The prospect of a government shutdown in the US diminished the appeal of US assets, pushing the USD lower and yields higher. Oil prices fell for the first time in five weeks, down 1.45% ending at US$63/bbl. BetaShares Strong Australian Dollar Hedge Fund (AUDS) was the top performing fund for the week. Platinum posted another strong week, up nearly 2%, bringing its ytd performance to over 9%. The Australian ETF market saw net inflows of A$10.45m last week. The largest single inflow was into ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO), while the largest outflows were from the materials sector, BetaShares S&P/ASX 200 Resources Sector ETF (QRE).
Jan 12, 2018
The S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.9% last week, dragged down by underperformance in the real estate and industrial sectors. The S&P 500 rose 1.6%, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.1%, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up 4.3% so far in 2018. The energy sector outperformed on strengthening oil prices - FUEL was the top performing unleveraged equity fund for the week. The Australian dollar continued its advance, moving above US79c. Most other majors also strengthened against the US dollar, with US jobs data missing expectations on Friday. The euro is now trading at three-year highs against the US dollar. Oil prices moved to a three-year high above US$64/bbl. BetaShares Crude Oil Index ETF (OOO) was the top performing fund for the week. Precious metals also performed strongly, with gold up 1.4% and palladium continued its long-term trend upwards. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$68m and outflows of A$29m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into cash and fixed income funds (AAA, QPON and PLUS) and domestic equity funds (MVW and STW), while the largest outflows were from the domestic financial sector (QFN).
Jan 09, 2018
ETFS Trade idea – The Rise and Rise of Technology Technology driven advances and the pace of innovation are the defining mega trend of our era. Developments in fields such as robotics and automation are changing many industries and are having an impact on the way we work and live. Our Future Present range of exchange traded funds offers simple and intelligent ways to bring your portfolio into the 21st century by capturing growth in companies at the forefront of the technology revolution. The rise and rise of technology It has become something of a cliché, but technology really is changing the way we live and work. On buses and trains, for example, half of the passengers are likely glued to smartphones or tablets. Technological developments are certainly not confined to telecommunications; in fact, new technologies are heralding enormous changes in a very wide range of industries globally. And, in some cases, technological advances are creating entire new industries whose participants are enjoying stellar growth rates. These powerful trends are interesting from an investment perspective. After all, the premise of equity investing suggests investors allocate capital towards companies that can generate and maintain strong growth rates, which are most likely to generate favourable long-term returns for shareholders. This philosophy is a hallmark of thematic investing, whereby investors seek to benefit from exposure to a particular trend or theme. Thematic funds can be additionally appealing to investors as their performance is often uncorrelated with economic cycles and other forces that drive mainstream equity and bond markets. Accessing pioneering companies with the greatest growth potential can be easier said than done. Small and mid-cap companies at the cutting edge of innovation in emerging industry sectors are typically not well represented in traditional market cap weighted indices. Constituents of the S&P/ASX 200 Index, for example, are more mature large-cap companies, often with more modest growth rates. Accordingly, investors might be missing out on some of the brightest current investment opportunities, even if their portfolio is heavily weighted towards equities. Similarly, investors who focus primarily on the domestic market in Australia are not only missing out on the benefits of international diversification, but are likely to also be overweight sectors such as Financials and Materials. Significantly, they are also likely to be very underweight sectors such as Information Technology and Heath Care, which are major sources of growth and innovation. In recognition of this – and reflecting our desire to offer investors fresh, innovative and value-adding investment options from across the globe – ETF Securities has launched the Future Present range. This range of funds enables investors to access some of the most appealing investment niches currently available, conveniently and cost-effectively through an exchange traded fund (ETF) vehicle. Accessing a new world of investment opportunities The Future Present range has been designed to track the growth of new and innovative sectors that have historically been challenging for investors to access. Investing in the Future Present range of funds enables investors to participate in the growth arising from long-term structural shifts that are underway in various industries. The Future Present range was launched in 2017 with the only ETF in Australia offering exposure to the global technology sector – ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF (ASX code: TECH). Technology has been a major source of global growth in recent years. Since 1995, earnings across the technology sector have increased more than 500%, nearly double the wider market. This translates into an annual compounded growth rate of 8.5% per annum compared to 5% for the market. In 2017 technology was clearly the leading performing sector, averaging a total return of close to 40% on a market capitalization-weighted basis(1). In designing TECH, ETF Securities partnered with Morningstar, whose expertise as a leader in equity research provides insight used to identify the leading technology companies across the globe, based on rigorous analysis of the strength and sustainability of their competitive advantages. Furthermore Morningstar’s valuation models ensure that only firms trading at attractive valuations relative to peers are selected for the fund. Whilst mega-caps such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon dominate, there is innovation and value to be found across the sector. From artificial intelligence to cyber-security, e-commerce and cloud infrastructure technology firms are growing and diversifying in many different directions. As such, companies are equally weighted within the fund to capture growth in small- and mid-cap companies that emerge as leading players in their field. The Future Present range has since expanded to include Australia’s first robotics, automation and artificial intelligence ETF – ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX code: ROBO). Companies are increasingly investing in automation as they seek to improve productivity; reducing production costs and, in turn, increasing profitability. Already generating more than $200 billion annually, sales in the robotics and automation sectors are tipped to increase more than five-fold over the next decade. (2) Currently, more than two thirds of industrial robots are employed in the automotive, electronics and metal industries(3) , but their use is likely to become more widespread as artificial intelligence systems develop further. Improvements in image and voice recognition, for example, as well as increasing usability of machine vision technology will enable robots to perform ever more complex tasks, widening their application and seeing them penetrate other industries. For ROBO, ETF Securities has partnered with ROBO Global, pioneers in robotics and automation investing and the developers of the benchmark industry classification system for the sector. ROBO Global’s expertise lies in their ability to identify companies that are best-placed to benefit from the structural changes underway. Which have competitive advantages that are likely to persist through time? Which are most profitable and likely to generate the strongest long-term returns for shareholders? Benefiting from ETF Securities’ heritage as Australia’s second oldest provider of exchange traded products, combined with the specialist expertise of our research partners, the Future Present range provides investors with a unique opportunity to invest in mega trends that are occurring all around us. We look forward to expanding the Future Present product range in 2018 and beyond. (1) Source: Bloomberg data as at 11 January 2018. (2) Business Insider Intelligence, Cyber Security Report, Apr 2016 (3) Source: International Federation of Robotics 2016
Jan 09, 2018
Risk assets continued to perform in the first week of 2018, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9%, the S&P 500 up 2.6%, while the EURO STOXX 50 rose 3.0% and the Nikkei 225 appreciated by 4.2%. Growth ETFs were the top performers for the week with ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) returning 4.3% and emerging market and Asia Pacific ETFs (IBK and UBP) also performing strongly. The real estate sector provided the poorest performing, non-leveraged funds for the week (DJRE and RENT). The Australian dollar continued its month-long rally, gaining 0.7% to breach US 78.5c for the first time since October. Precious metals also performed strongly last week, with gold up 1.3%. ETFS Physical Platinum was the top performing commodity fund for the week, returning 3.9%. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.3%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$55m and outflows of A$28m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into BetaShares FTSE RAFI Australia 200 ETF (QOZ), while the largest outflows were from SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Financials ex A-REITS Fund (OZF).