Despite some recent Cyprus-induced hurdles, the S&P 500 is
off to a fine start in 2013.
That much is highlighted by the 9.3 percent year-to-date gain
for the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:
) and that does not include a decent showing on Tuesday.
well-known sector ETFs have been even better
, particularly those tracking consumer staples and health care
names. However, investors have plenty of options regarding
somewhat obscure equity-based
that are handily outperforming SPY this year.
Two requirements were used for this group. First, only plain
vanilla long ETFs were included. Leveraged funds were excluded.
Second, all three of the ETFs featured here have outpaced SPY by
at least 500 basis points this year.
SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (NYSE:
) Investors that look for broad transportation sector exposure
via ETFs primarily head to the iShares Dow Jones Transportation
Average Index Fund (NYSE:
). IYT is a fine ETF in its own right as evidenced by a
year-to-date gain of 13 percent.
By assets under management, IY is nearly 19 times the size of
the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF. That has not seemed to
bother the SPDR offering, which has outpaced its iShares rival by
nearly 400 basis points this year.
While it is fair to call XTN "the other transportation ETF,"
there are key differences between these two funds. For instance,
railroads represent nearly 30 percent of IYT's weight, but just
16.6 percent of XTN's weight. XTN is more airline heavy (25.6
percent compared to 15 percent for IYT) and that could make the
ETF vulnerable if oil prices spike.
First Trust Financials AlphaDEX Fund (NYSE:
) A disclaimer is needed when referring to the First Trust
Financials AlphaDEX Fund as "obscure." The ETF has over $247
million in assets, so clearly it is not unheard or fighting to
survive. FXO is merely obscure relative to a rival ETF such as
the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:
Those that picked FXO over XLF at the start of the year
probably are not complaining that their fund will not win any
bank ETF popularity contests. The reason being is that FXO is up
14.8 percent year-to-date. Not only is that far better than SPY,
it is also nearly 400 basis points better than XLF. Not to
mention, FXO has been slightly less volatile than XLF. Actually,
that is not a surprise.
FXO has a three-year standard deviation of 17.82 percent
compared to just over 21 percent for the S&P 500 Financials
according to First Trust data
Guggenheim Spin-Off ETF (NYSE:
) The Guggenheim Spin-Off has nearly $145 million in assets, so
it meets the shallow criteria of some that erroneously consider
that the mark of a "good" ETF. Regardless of that metric, CSD has
been good, perhaps great this year. A gain of 17.8 percent says
That performance is not a three-month flash in the pan. CSD
actually has a lengthy track record of easily topping SPY. Over
the past 12, 24 and 36 months, CSD has simply dominated SPY. Over
the past three years, CSD is up 69 percent compared to 40.5
percent for SPY.
One thing that investors need to note about CSD to avoid
disappointment is this: "The universe of companies eligible for
inclusion in the Index includes companies that have been spun-off
within the past 30 months (but not more recently than six months
prior to the applicable re-balancing date,"
according to Guggenheim
For example, CSD does not yet include recent spin-offs such as
) and Mondelez (NASDAQ:
) among its holdings.
For more on ETFs, click
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
Profit with More New & Research
. Gain access to a streaming platform with all the information
you need to invest better today.
Click here to start your 14 Day Trial of Benzinga