Private-equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) have taken some heat recently. The new PowerShares International Listed Private Equity ETF (PFP) launched despite private equity’s shakeup from the disappearance of cheap credit for finance deals. PFP is similar to the older PowerShares Listed Private Equity Fund (PSP), which launched late in 2006 and is currently down 0.2% year-to-date. Both ETFs track an index by Red Rocks Capital Partners.

These ETFs are similar in that they both have about the same risk adjustment and are very volatile, says Mebane Faber for World Beta. In contrast, the new PFP’s holdings are listed private equity funds as opposed to private equity fund management companies that make up PSP. In addition, PSP is more correlated to U.S. stocks, and PFP is more correlated to foreign stocks. For those investors who can stomach lots of volatility, these ETFs might be worth considering. However, those investors need to decide if they think it’s the right time to invest in private equity.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.