Self Directed Investor Inc
SDI: "Empowering investors with ideas and education"
Symbol Lookup »  
Topics:ChinaETFsEarningsEconomyEnergyForexGoldIncomeLessonsIdeasTrading

  • Other news: News from PR Newswire
| More

Inside FlexShares ETF Strategy: Value, Inflation, And Dividends

Thu, Nov 15, 9:15 AM ET, by Michael Johnston

ETF issuers, both big and small, have taken great strides in democratizing the investing process, opening up the doors to previously hard-to-reach asset classes. The uncertain economic environment, at home and abroad, however, has promoted some issuers to hold off from launching new products, while others have taken the opportunity to tap into more strategic corners. FlexShares, operated by Chicago-based Northern Trust, is one such issuer which continues to debut versatile offerings that may appeal to long-term investors in any economic environment. Shundrawn Thomas, Managing Director and Global Head of the Exchange-Traded Funds Group at Northern Trust, recently took time to discuss the various themes unifying the FlexShares products as well as his firm’s vision moving forward [see Free Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].

ETF Database (ETFdb): How have you guys been so successful, especially in such a tough environment?

Shundrawn Thomas (ST): Context is important. If we look back at 2005 there were 8 U.S. ETF sponsors and today there are nearly 50. I think people have lost sight of the first 10 to 12 years of the industry. We experienced a time with relatively exponential growth with few competitors and subsequently have entered a period of more intense competition. In that regard we expected more fund closures. We are very circumspect with respect to our early success and need to build on our strengths to keep it going [Download 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].

We are focused on our value proposition and our products; we target investors that are using ETFs in a more strategic portfolio context. Given who we are, we aren’t principally focused on trading oriented or pure beta strategies which are saturated markets. We launch distinctive products and take the time to let them get seasoned in the market. Some feel that this doesn't apply due to dynamic market growth, but that's not true. Even if you think you have a good approach, you have to allow the market to provide feedback. This is why we have been deliberate about the pace of product introductions. So far, investors have appreciated our efforts and see that we are serious and are here to stay.

ETFdb: You have a lot of products that are very different, what would you say is a unifying feature in your product line-up?

ST: We began by developing an investment solutions framework that focuses on what investors are really looking to achieve. We find that they principally want to grow assets, mitigate risk, generate income, and maintain liquidity. We focus on these four objectives, leveraging our insights from investors and our investment expertise to offer distinctive products. As we add new products it becomes more clear what we are trying to achieve with our products and our overall value proposition.

ETFdb: Can you explain how your ETFs protect against inflation and how they distinguish themselves from the crowd?

ST: There are a number of competitor products, even beyond ETFs, that offer inflation protection. While investors consider the threat of inflation, people haven't expressed much concern until recently. Instead they have benefited from an environment that has produced modest headline inflation. When we talk to investors about investment options to hedge inflation, common views are not always supported by empirical evidence. If you look at gold for example, many investors consider it a preferred hedge for inflation.

In practice there are much better alternatives to hedge inflation. People don't always see it that way. TIPS are another example, as investors often pay little attention to the duration of their TIPS portfolios. The interest rate sensitivity of a TIPS portfolio can easily overwhelm the inflation hedging benefit if the duration is not considered and managed. We offer funds that precisely target the duration of a TIPS portfolio which has really resonated with investors. A lot of TIPS investors were not focused on the duration impact and appreciate the added protection and thought leadership [see also 25 ETF Ideas To Fight Rising Prices].

ETFdb - What areas of the market will you be focusing on next?

ST: We are looking at a couple trends that we think will be important and persistent in the future. The first is the interest rate environment. The position of the Fed suggests that low interest rates will persist for a while. Investors in search of yield or income have faced this challenge for some time and it becomes more acute with changing demographics. If you are really investor centric, issuers have to address the need. We see a number of opportunities to address the objective of generating income in the current environment. Recall this one of the four fundamental objectives from our investment solutions framework.

Market structure and regulatory changes have affected market liquidity in a pronounced way. For example, investment banking firms are holding about a quarter of the trading inventory that they used to carry prior to the 2008 crisis. If you manage large portfolios, these changes impact how quickly you can get in and out of positions, particularly in the fixed income market. While this presents challenges, it also presents opportunities for thoughtful investment products that may invest in less liquid securities.

We have also been looking at equity valuations - the US market has done rather well this year, while both developed and emerging markets have not performed as well and trade at comparatively low valuations. As long term investors, we look at global economic trends and believe there is significant opportunity to invest in fast growing regions of the world and growth oriented companies that are exposed globally. There are also opportunities to do this in differentiated ways [see also ETFs For The World's Most Valuable Emerging Market Brands].

Finally, we believe investors need to think about a segmented approach to cash management, where they will need to consider trade-offs among safety, yield and liquidity. Our recently launched FlexShares Ready Access Variable Income ETF (RAVI) is an example of how we are responding to investor needs. This actively managed short duration fund provides both liquidity and competitive yield and is a distinct approach to many traditional cash management products.

Bottom Line: Looming economic uncertainties amid a low-rate environment pose challenges for investors and ETF issuers alike. On the product development front, issuers continue to respond to investors’ needs as seen with the latest wave of income-focused ETFs. While the market’s future may be unclear, investors are sure to benefit from the ongoing evolution of the ETF industry as more and more offerings become readily available, while growing cost-competition among issuers will further benefit end-users.

Follow me on Twitter @SBojinov

[For more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter or try a free seven day trial to ETFdb Pro]

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

Click here to read the original article on ETFdb.com.


SDI Glossary: "Exchange" Definition
SDI Glossary: "ETFs" Definition
SDI Glossary: "the Fed" Definition
This Article's Word Cloud:   ETFdb   ETFs   FlexShares   TIPS   about   also   approach   been   benefit   both   consider   duration   economic   environment   example   focused   from   have   hedge   income   inflation   interest   investment   investors   issuers   liquidity   looking   market   more   need   offer   opportunities   portfolio   product   products   rate   really   recently   that   there   they   think   this   time   what   which   while   will   with   yield

| More

KME Crosses Above Key Moving Average Level
Fri, Aug 29, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Friday, shares of the SPDR S&P Mortgage Finance ETF (KME) crossed above ...

Shares of RINF Now Oversold
Fri, Aug 29, 3:54 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Friday, shares of the Proshares 30 Year TIPS/TSY Spread ETF (RINF) entered ...

See How Chevron Ranks Among Analysts' Top Dow 30 Picks
Fri, Aug 29, 11:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that Chevron Corporation (CVX) is ...

Vanguard Health Care ETF Experiences Big Inflow
Fri, Aug 29, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: VHT Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

IYR, SPG, AMT, CCI: ETF Inflow Alert
Fri, Aug 29, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IYR, SPG, AMT, CCI Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

EWP: ETF Outflow Alert
Fri, Aug 29, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: EWP Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

Vanguard Extended Market ETF Experiences Big Inflow
Fri, Aug 29, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: VXF Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

Lockheed Martin a Top 25 Dividend Giant With 3.06% Yield (LMT)
Fri, Aug 29, 8:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) has been named as a Top 25 ''Dividend Giant'' by ETF ...

Why Cincinnati Financial is a Top 25 SAFE Dividend Stock (CINF)
Fri, Aug 29, 8:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Cincinnati Financial Corp. (CINF) has been named to the Dividend Channel ''S.A.F.E. ...

General Dynamics Achieves #117 Analyst Rank, Surpassing Prudential Financial
Thu, Aug 28, 12:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In a study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages, for the underlying components of ...

IEMG, BAP, MBT, SCCO: ETF Inflow Alert
Thu, Aug 28, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IEMG, BAP, MBT, SCCO Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

IYM, LYB, PX, FCX: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Thu, Aug 28, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IYM, LYB, PX, FCX Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

BLV: ETF Inflow Alert
Thu, Aug 28, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: BLV Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

IEF: Large Outflows Detected at ETF
Thu, Aug 28, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IEF Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

Proshares Short 20+ Year Treasury Getting Very Oversold
Thu, Aug 28, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Thursday, shares of the Proshares Short 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TBF) entered ...

iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped Breaks Below 200-Day Moving Average - Notable for EWL
Thu, Aug 28, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Thursday, shares of the iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped ETF (EWL) crossed below ...

TTT Crowded With Sellers
Thu, Aug 28, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Thursday, shares of the Proshares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TTT) ...

TMV Crosses Critical Technical Indicator
Thu, Aug 28, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Thursday, shares of the Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bear 3x Shares ETF ...

11.7% of FPX Holdings Seeing Recent Insider Buys
Thu, Aug 28, 9:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

A look at the weighted underlying holdings of the First Trust US IPO Index Fund ...

Cullen/Frost Bankers a Top Ranked SAFE Dividend Stock With 2.6% Yield (CFR)
Thu, Aug 28, 9:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR) has been named to the Dividend Channel ''S.A.F.E. ...

CenturyLink a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock With 5.3% Yield (CTL)
Thu, Aug 28, 9:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) has been named a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock by Dividend Channel, ...

Canadian Dollar Trust (FXC) Shares Cross Above 200 DMA
Wed, Aug 27, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Wednesday, shares of the Canadian Dollar Trust ETF (FXC) crossed above their ...

GDX, GG, ABX, NEM: ETF Inflow Alert
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: GDX, GG, ABX, NEM Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

FXU, POM, TDS, GXP: Large Outflows Detected at ETF
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: FXU, POM, TDS, GXP Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

QQQ, AAPL, MSFT, GOOG: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: QQQ, AAPL, MSFT, GOOG Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

KRE, CIT, UBSI, HBAN: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: KRE, CIT, UBSI, HBAN Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF Experiences Big Inflow
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IWD, GE, JNJ, WFC Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

CURE: Large Outflows Detected at ETF
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: CURE Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

IJH, URI, SLG, HSIC: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IJH, URI, SLG, HSIC Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

VUG, FB, AMGN, AXP: ETF Inflow Alert
Wed, Aug 27, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: VUG, FB, AMGN, AXP Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

11.6% of FTHI Holdings Seeing Recent Insider Buys
Wed, Aug 27, 9:44 AM ET, by ETF Channel

A look at the weighted underlying holdings of the First Trust High Income ETF (FTHI) ...

MO a Top 25 Dividend Giant With $3.11B Held By ETFs
Wed, Aug 27, 8:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Altria Group Inc (MO) has been named as a Top 25 ''Dividend Giant'' by ETF ...

Analog Devices a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock With 2.8% Yield (ADI)
Wed, Aug 27, 8:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has been named a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock by Dividend ...

PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD) Shares Cross Above 200 DMA
Tue, Aug 26, 3:54 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Tuesday, shares of the PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio ETF (PZD) crossed above their ...

Navient Achieves #139 Analyst Rank, Surpassing Dover
Tue, Aug 26, 11:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In a study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages, for the underlying components of ...

OIH, SLB, NOV, SDRL: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Tue, Aug 26, 11:14 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: OIH, SLB, NOV, SDRL Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

FCG Makes Bullish Cross Above Critical Moving Average
Tue, Aug 26, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Tuesday, shares of the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund ETF ...

NGE Crosses Critical Technical Indicator
Tue, Aug 26, 10:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Tuesday, shares of the MSCI Nigeria ETF (NGE) entered into oversold territory, ...

10.1% of FYC Holdings Seeing Recent Insider Buys
Tue, Aug 26, 9:44 AM ET, by ETF Channel

A look at the weighted underlying holdings of the First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX ...

Home Depot a Top 25 Dividend Giant With 2.07% Yield (HD)
Tue, Aug 26, 8:34 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Home Depot Inc (HD) has been named as a Top 25 ''Dividend Giant'' by ETF ...

Shares of HYXU Now Oversold
Mon, Aug 25, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Monday, shares of the iShares Global ex USD High Yield Corporate Bond ...

Proshares USD Covered Bond Breaks Above 200-Day Moving Average - Bullish for COBO
Mon, Aug 25, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Monday, shares of the Proshares USD Covered Bond ETF (COBO) crossed above ...

Swedish Krona Trust (FXS) Enters Oversold Territory
Mon, Aug 25, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Monday, shares of the Swedish Krona Trust ETF (FXS) entered into oversold ...

UPV Makes Bullish Cross Above Critical Moving Average
Mon, Aug 25, 4:14 PM ET, by ETF Channel

In trading on Monday, shares of the Proshares Ultra FTSE Europe ETF (UPV) crossed above ...

Kinder Morgan Moves Up In Analyst Rankings, Passing Mallinckrodt
Mon, Aug 25, 11:54 AM ET, by ETF Channel

In a study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages, for the underlying components of ...

VDE, OXY, HAL, APA: ETF Outflow Alert
Mon, Aug 25, 11:24 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: VDE, OXY, HAL, APA Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

IJS, TQNT, THS, EPR: Large Outflows Detected at ETF
Mon, Aug 25, 11:24 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IJS, TQNT, THS, EPR Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

VGT, CRM, CTSH, GLW: Large Inflows Detected at ETF
Mon, Aug 25, 11:24 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: VGT, CRM, CTSH, GLW Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

EDC: Large Outflows Detected at ETF
Mon, Aug 25, 11:24 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: EDC Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just like stocks, but ...

iShares U.S. Consumer Goods ETF Experiences Big Outflow
Mon, Aug 25, 11:24 AM ET, by ETF Channel

Symbols mentioned in this story: IYK, MO, MDLZ, KMB Exchange traded funds (ETFs) trade just ...

Related videos | all videos »
  More articles:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next »

ABOUT US »   ADVERTISE »   CONTACT US »   TERMS OF USE & PRIVACY POLICY »

Inside FlexShares ETF Strategy: Value, Inflation, And Dividends | Self Directed Investor | Copyright © 2008 - 2014, All Rights Reserved

Any ideas and opinions presented in Self Directed Investor content are for informational and educational purposes only, and do not reflect the opinions of BNK Invest, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or partners. In no way should any content contained herein be interpreted to represent trading or investment advice. None of the information contained herein constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. All site visitors agree that under no circumstances will BNK Invest, Inc,. its subsidiaries, partners, officers, employees, affiliates, or agents be held liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained. Read Full Disclaimer.

SDI is associated with: ValueForum.com -- a subscription-based online social networking forum of over 1000 individual investors. | MarketNewsVideo.com -- videos appearing on SDI are produced by Market News Video. | TickerTech.com -- stock quote content appearing on SDI is at least 20 minutes delayed and is powered by Ticker Technologies. | GoldStockStrategist.com -- Edited by Scott V. Nystrom, PhD, Gold Stock Strategist provides analysis on gold mining companies.