New Alpha & Beta ETF Is All About Strategy

by Kyle Woodley | July 16, 2012 12:32 pm

Hey! The exchange-traded product community finally decided to wake up after a dry July, launching a trio of exchange-traded products last week. Two are just a new twist on an old trick, but one — the AdvisorShares Global Alpha & Beta ETF (NYSE:RRGR[1]) — catches the eye.

RRGR is the latest of AdvisorShares’ actively managed funds, and this one uses a doozy of a process to go about its mission of outperforming indices like the S&P 500 and the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index. AdvisorShares’ actually has a fun graphical layout you can find here[2] (look for the RRGR Investment Process PDF), but here’s a recap:

First, RRGR management looks at whether the stock market as a whole is positive or negative. In RRGR’s case, it looks to see if the market is below its 200-day moving average, or whether the yield curve is inverted — and if either are the case, the fund will go defensive and not be heavily invested in the markets.

Then, it’s time to actually pick holdings. RRGR management does a broader look through the S&P 500’s sectors and determines where more or less weight should be thrown. It also does a fundamental examination (with occasional technical analysis) so it can nail down “core holdings.”

Next, management will try to bolster the fund by looking at any other ways they can add value in returns, diversification, yield or “disaster insurance.” And lastly, RRGR uses counter-strategies to further diversify the fund and pad it against risk.

RRGR’s ugliest point might be its fees, which are a steep 1.4%, but that’s the price of admission to bet on humans beating the market.

The other two funds out last week were the ProShares UltraPro Financials (NYSE:FINU[3]) and the ProShares UltraPro Short Financials (NYSE:FINZ[4]) — a pair of triple-leveraged funds that seek to provide the 3x the gains (or losses) of the Dow Jones U.S. Financials Index. At 0.95% in fees each, they’re slightly cheaper alternatives to the Direxion 3X financial funds FAS and FAZ.

Last week’s three launches were the first of July, with 125 new funds out so far in 2012, according to[5].

Kyle Woodley[6] is the assistant editor of[7]. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleWoodley[8].

  1. RRGR:
  2. here:
  3. FINU:
  4. FINZ:
  6. Kyle Woodley:
  8. @KyleWoodley:

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