Brad Zigler

Brad
Zigler

Brad Zigler pens Wealthmanagement.com's Alternative Insights newsletter. Formerly, he headed up marketing and research for the Pacific Exchange's (now NYSE Arca) option market and the iShares complex of exchange traded funds.

Articles
Digging for Gold Mining Stocks
Bullion’s price drop has battered gold mining stocks, but a turnaround may be nigh. Here, a guide to the potential winners.
Emerging Market Debt’s Wild Ride
A handful of funds allow investors to buy in, but will the rally last?
Are Bears Being Burned By Inverse ETFs?
Inverse funds usually underperform shorting the underlying asset, but they can play a role in some accounts if you are willing to rebalance frequently.
Finding Order in (Commodity) Chaos
Managed futures funds have struggled recently, but historically outperform equities (at least on a risk-adjusted basis). Here’s how retail investors can play along.
Floating Your Money Boat 
Will investing in floating-rate securities put some wind underneath a portfolio, or just fill it with hot air?
Tarnished Gold
There are myriad ways to play the continuing downtrend in the price of gold. Which is best?
Is Real Estate Reeling?
It hasn’t paid to bet against real estate in 2013. Let me clarify that. A wager against domestic (U.S.) realty wouldn’t have won you any chips this year.
Real Estate: Two Views From The Top
Two different viewpoints on real estate come from the exchange-traded fund industry.
Technical Corner: July 2013

Attendees of our recent Web seminar, “How Much Alpha Is There In Beta?” learned the link between alpha and beta in today’s investment environment and the importance of obtaining accurate data to monitor portfolio risks and rewards.

Here, we present the Excel arguments necessary to calculate customized portfolio metrics that track risk exposure and performance.

Alt ETP Comings And Goings

The turnover in alternative exchange-traded product landscape is growing evidence of a maturing market.

In June, the segment lost four ETPs but made up ground with the launch of three more and a registration filing for yet another.

AdvisorShares lodged paperwork with the SEC for the Treesdale Rising Rates ETF (anticipated as NYSE Arca: HDGB), an actively managed fund geared to capitalize on increasing yields in the mortgage market.

More Retail Hedge Funds in the Works

Goldman Sachs has set the pace for a new class of retail products by launching a mutual fund-of-hedge funds that can be had for as little as $1,000. Several investment banks are ramping up copycat funds to compete with the Goldman Sachs Multi-ManagerAlternatives Fund (OTC: GMAMX) which was introduced in May.

GMAMX bestows exposure to long/short equity, event-driven trading, relative value arbitrage and opportunistic credit trading for an annual fee, depending upon the class selected, between

Trade Your Own Hedge Fund. Free.

Always wanted to trade a hedge fund but never had the capital, the guts or the smarts to test drive your ideas? Don’t worry. Quantopian (www.quantopian.com), a Boston-based startup, has got your back. Quantopian’s assembling a community of would-be hedgies who build stock trading algorithms, hundreds of which are available for free on the company’s website.  

You can borrow an algo or build own of your own.

More Losses For Managed Futures

Losses in the managed futures sector continued to mount in June as the Newedge CTA Index closed out the month with a 1.5 percent loss. For the year, the CTA is still up one percent.

June’s culprit was the equity market as most managed futures programs were banking on momentum (read: long) in U.S. and foreign stock indexes. Short positions in the Japanese Yen were also costly. 

Hedgies’ June Swoon

Hedge funds took it on the chin last month, sucker punched by Fed fears. Jawboning by Chairman Ben Bernanke of a slowdown in the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program spooked the equity, credit and commodities markets, cutting into the year-to-date gains scored by many funds.

According to data from Hedge Fund Research, the average hedge fund gained 3.4 percent in the first half of 2013, compared to a 12.6 percent rise in the S&P 500.

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