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Exchange traded funds (ETFs) remain the fastest growing area of the mutual fund industry. Massive appeal has resulted in over 1,100 ETFs now on the market -- double the number of ETFs available just four years ago.
ETFs were initially an inexpensive and trader-friendly way to access common market indexes like the S&P 500, but the ETFs available today represent far more than the standard market indexes. There are ETFs that cover nearly every sector, capitalization and geographic region. This extraordinary range of investment opportunities is available with few trading restrictions and generally low costs, but the challenge is knowing which funds to buy. All of these choices can make it difficult for investors to build and manage a portfolio of ETFs. Today, investors have more than a thousand funds to choose from, and they still have to decide which ones to buy and when to sell their initial selections and move on to different ETFs.
Some investors choose to leave these decisions to professionals by investing in managed ETF portfolios, where teams of professional money managers build and manage portfolios of ETFs on behalf of investors. Since most ETFs are index-based, managed ETF portfolios combine the simplicity of index investing with the potential outperformance of active management.
Managing portfolios of funds is what we’ve been doing for over 40 years, and ETFs are just another tool we use to take advantage of market trends. Some ETF strategies are quite new (according to Morningstar, 30% of ETF-only strategies are less than three years old) and have not been through a wide range of market cycles. At FundX, we use the same Upgrading methodology to manage ETF portfolios that we’ve used for decades.
Our managed ETF portfolios are packaged as mutual funds. Our funds can make it easy for investors to add ETF strategies to their portfolios since the funds are available at most brokers for a minimum investment of as little as $1,000.
Because most ETFs track indexes, they aren’t designed to outperform an index. Our FundX ETF Funds attempt to outperform major market indexes over the long term by investing in leading areas of the market and avoiding lagging areas.
The FundX Aggressive ETF Upgrader Fund (UNBOX) has an unconstrained approach. We can invest UNBOX in the hottest sectors, countries and segments of the market, and at times the Fund may be 100% invested in these more concentrated ETFs.
The FundX ETF Upgrader Fund (REMIX) focuses on broader market themes, taking advantage of market leadership in growth and value styles, small- and large-capitalizations, and domestic and foreign markets.
It is primarily invested in more diversified ETFs and has limited exposure to sector and single country ETFs.
The FundX Tactical Upgrader Fund (TACTX) uses ETFs both to track market leadership and to manage risk. We invest TACTX in leading ETFs, and we also write options against these ETFs to hedge our market exposure and limit downside risk; TACTX isn’t fully invested.
All of the FundX Upgrader Funds use ETFs, so investors who simply want some exposure to ETFs can invest in any of the Funds. But these three funds – UNBOX, REMIX, and TACTX – get their market exposure exclusively from ETFs.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
Exchange traded funds are baskets of stocks or bonds. Most are index based and focus on an index that tracks a particular sector or region. ETFs are listed on exchanges and trade like stocks, but the vast majority of ETFs are regulated as mutual funds.
The S&P 500 Index is a broad based unmanaged index of 500 stocks, which is widely recognized as representative of the equity market in general.