A Narrow ETF Focus Can Amplify Risk | ETF Trends

Yet another example of how diversification can help an exchange traded fund (ETF) portfolio from getting hit rather than completely drained is evidenced in the transportation sector.

Diversification across an economic segment lessened the negative impact on portfolios by taking the route of a broad sector ETF instead of the narrow sub-segment of a sector, says Gary Gordon for ETF Expert.

For instance, the Dow Jones Transportation Fund (IYT) represents a cross-section of the transportation sector, including railroads, trucking and air transportation. The fund paralleled the S&P 500 over the last three months.

In contrast, sub-segments of the sector such as shipping, represented by Claymore Global Shipping Fund (SEA), was hit especially hard by the downturn.

SEA sank as much as 50% within a few months, proving that a narrow focus can hit portfolios hard when there is crash or collapse. Of course, the flip side of that is that in an upturn, these funds can reflect a sub-sector’s strong performance.

IYT is down 17.6% year-to-date, while SEA is down 55% since its Sept. 8 inception.

These types of funds can be useful during a bull market and are handy for those aggressive investor types. Make sure that you know the risks and that you’re comfortable with the outcome, and that you have an exit strategy in place.

Narrow Focus ETFs

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. 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.