Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Diving a Little Deeper into the Strategy-in-a-Box ETFs

I was sufficiently pleased by the response to my strategy-in-a-box ETFs post that it seems appropriate to launch a follow-up post to address several questions raised or implied by readers. The biggest issues seemed to revolve around the history, performance and holdings of these ETFs. It is also important to understand the nature of the index and/or strategy that the ETF seeks to replicate, as well as the timing and methodology used to rebalance the ETFs. For each of the six aforementioned strategy-in-a-box ETFs, I have therefore also included links to a profile/summary page; the prospectus; a current list of holdings; the Morningstar performance data; and the StockCharts gallery chart:

As noted on Sunday, all but LSC have at least two years of a track record. Normally I would not consider this to be a long time, but given that it covers both strong bull and bear markets, I believe it is an appropriate time period from which to draw some conclusions. Perhaps more interesting is the rebalance period, where quarterly rebalancing seems to be the norm. I have spent a fair amount of time playing with various rebalancing methods and at least in my experience, I find it difficult to gain a meaningful edge with quarterly rebalancing.

Finally, it looks as if the strategy-in-a-box moniker is here to stay. I guess it is just a matter of time before I roll out screw top, synthetic cork and real cork strategies. Perhaps then we can turn our attention to the next dimension, Jeroboam, Methuselah and Nebuchadnezzar strategies…

[For all of you who think I may be spending too much time near the fermentation tanks, it was only two years ago that my weekly volatility analysis came with a wine pairing…]

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