In examining some exchange traded fund flows data from last week, we note that DJP (iPath DJ Commodity Index Total Return ETN) took well over $200 million in new assets via creations, which equates to about 10% of the outstanding assets in the fund.
The fund provides diversified exposure to various commodity segments, with a current weighting breakdown that looks like the following: Energy (33.90%), Agriculture (28.79%), Precious Metals (16.07%), Industrial Metals (14.92%), and Livestock (6.32%).
While DJP offers exposure to a diversified universe of commodities through one investment product, critics of the fund will point to the seemingly “overweight” position to Energy, but this can have it’s pros and cons depending on which direction Energy is currently headed obviously.
For the moment, Crude Oil is flirting with recent highs and even Natural Gas is showing faint signs of life so it is possible that the buyers of DJP are intentionally looking to overweight energy in the context of the other commodities that they are getting long exposure to via DJP.
Another fund that deserves consideration in the space is GCC (Greenhaven Continuous Commodity Index), as it delivers equal weighted exposure to 17 different commodities via futures, across the spectrum and thus avoids relatively over-weighting anything, such as Energy for example. The fund re-balances itself every day to trim back exposures to those commodities that may have run up in price, and on the other hand, increase exposure to those that have fallen in price, in order to maintain the equal weighted exposure.
The question remains, how has the equal weighted approach of GCC fared head to head with DJP which has traditionally been heavy energy? The word marvelous comes to mind, at least since inception in early February of 2008, as GCC is down 3.02% compared to DJP’s fall of 25.51% during the same time period.