Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       
 
 
 
Blog Home
Jeff Margolin
Closed-End Fund Analyst
Click for Bio

Follow Jeff on LinkedIn
Ryan Issakainen
ETF Strategist
Click for Bio

Follow Ryan on LinkedIn
 

  Asset Flows Monitor May 2022 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor May 2022 Edition
  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs totaled $9.3 billion in April, bringing total ETF assets under management to $6.6 trillion.
  • Equity ETFs had net outflows totaling $5.9 billion in April, bringing trailing 12-months (TTM) net inflows to $533.7 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had net inflows totaling $12.2 billion in April, bringing TTM net inflows to $169.2 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had net inflows totaling $2.4 billion in April, bringing TTM net inflows to $22.1 billion.  Precious metals ETFs (+$1.6 billion) and Broad Commodities ETFs (+$1.1 billion) were the strongest sub-categories in April.

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 @ 10:03 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Alternatives Update 1st Quarter 2022
Posted Under: Alternatives
The first quarter of 2022 saw no abatement in soaring inflation whether one focused on the Producer Price Index ("PPI") or the Consumer Price Index ("CPI"). This sent financial professionals delving into the 1970s and the 1940s looking for similar regimes and hints of potential outcomes. The global commodity chain, already under pressure from COVID disruptions and years of underinvestment, was thrown into near disarray when Russia invaded Ukraine. Both countries are critical exporters of agricultural products and Russia is one of the world's top energy producers. 
The Federal Reserve ("Fed") raised the Federal Funds target by 25 basis point ("bps"), the first increase since 2018. Governors are now messaging a far more hawkish tone, promising a series of rate hikes and a potentially aggressive runoff of the balance sheet (Quantitative Tightening). This of course begs several questions. How far will the Fed actually go? Will they relent if the economy slows? Will they pause if there is a rapid depreciation of financial assets? Will they go too far, committing financial exsanguination and a deep recession? With estimates for 1st quarter GDP hovering in the 2% or lower range, year-over-year ("YoY") CPI estimates near 8%, and a sampling of price changes not indicating much relief either YoY or compared to pre-covid levels, something of a stagflationary cycle seems to be developing. In our view, this creates a treacherous environment to be tightening financial conditions and is somewhat of a death-defying tightrope act for the Fed.

To view the entire article, click here.
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @ 8:24 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Closed-end Fund Review - First Quarter 2022
Posted Under: CEFs
FIRST QUARTER 2022 OVERVIEW
After a year in which the average closed-end fund (CEF) returned an impressive +16.32% (https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/Insights/2022/1/19/fourthquarter- 2021), many CEFs struggled during the first quarter of 2022. Indeed, the first quarter of 2022 was a challenging one for the equity and credit markets as well as for the CEF structure. Rising short- and long-term interest rates coupled with geopolitical concerns helped contribute to a difficult quarter for many asset classes in 1Q22. The total return for the average CEF was -6.99% for the quarter. It was a broad decline as equity CEFs returned -0.45%, fixed-income CEFs returned -10.51%, municipal CEFs returned -13.27% and taxable fixed-income CEFs returned -8.39%. It was a challenge to identify categories of the CEF marketplace that posted positive total returns during the first quarter but Master Limited Partnership (MLP) CEFs returned +23.25% for the quarter and commodity CEFs were also positive for the quarter gaining +10.65%.

Equity CEFs were hurt by a -4.60% total return in the S&P 500 Index as well as by a -5.44% total return in the MSCI All-Country World Ex US Index. Rising interest rates across the curve during the 1Q22 put pressure on several key credit markets as indicated by the negative total returns for many fixed-income indices. Indeed, for the 1Q22 the ICE BofA Investment Grade Corporates Index total return was -7.74%, the ICE BofA Preferreds Index returned -6.72%, the ICE BofA 7-12 Yr. Municipal Index returned -6.29%, and the ICE BofA High-Yield Bond Index returned -4.50%. The best performing of the major bond indices was the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index, posting a negative return of just -0.10% for 1Q22. (Source: Bloomberg)

Click here to continue reading.
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2022 @ 10:46 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Asset Flows Monitor April 2022 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor April 2022 Edition

  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs totaled $88.6 billion in March, bringing total ETF assets under management to $7.03 trillion.
  • Equity ETFs had net inflows totaling $59.0 billion in March, bringing trailing 12-month (TTM) net inflows to $601.9 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had net inflows totaling $19.7 billion in March, bringing TTM net inflows to $186.5 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had net inflows totaling $10.0 billion in March, bringing TTM net inflows to $18.7 billion.  Precious metals ETFs (+$6.5 billion) was the strongest sub-category in March, followed by broad market commodities ETFs (+$2.4 billion).

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Monday, April 4, 2022 @ 9:34 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Asset Flows Monitor March 2022 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor March 2022 Edition

  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs totaled $61.3 billion in February, bringing total ETF assets under management to $6.78 trillion.
  • Equity ETFs had net inflows totaling $50.9 billion in February, bringing trailing 12-months (TTM) net inflows to $622.4 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had net inflows totaling $7.8 billion in February, bringing TTM net inflows to $180.6 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had net inflows totaling $2.3 billion in February, bringing TTM net inflows to $2.4 billion.  Broad market commodity ETFs (+$2.3 billion) was the strongest sub-category in February.

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 @ 3:10 PM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Is it Too Late to Allocate to Commodities ETFs?
Posted Under: ETFs
Commodity prices have been in rally mode since March of 2020.  The Bloomberg Commodity Index rose by 27.1% in 2021, the strongest calendar year increase in over 20 years, and the second strongest year since the 1970s (see chart below).  So far in 2022, the index is up another 15.5% (as of 2/28). However, recent gains follow a decade of dismal performance. Prior to 2021, 7 of the 10 calendar years through 2020 delivered negative returns. In our view, there are good reasons to believe that commodity prices may continue to trend higher in the months and years ahead. In the near-term, we expect inflationary pressures fueled by loose monetary policy and the recent unprecedented expansion of the money supply in the U.S. to provide a strong tailwind for commodity prices, especially if demand for goods and services rebounds with the lifting of Covid pandemic restrictions. Geopolitical tensions and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine may also play a role in raising commodity prices. Longer-term, a transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles, along with necessary investments in related infrastructure, may fuel a substantial increase in demand for certain raw materials. We believe broad commodities ETFs, such as the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC), may help investors benefit from these trends.

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2022 @ 9:27 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Asset Flows Monitor February 2022 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor February 2022 Edition

  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs totaled $31.0 billion in January, bringing total ETF assets under management to $6.73 trillion.
  • Equity ETFs had net inflows totaling $32.8 billion in January, bringing trailing 12-months (TTM) net inflows to $649.7 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had net outflows totaling $6.7 billion in January, bringing TTM net inflows to $180.3 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had net inflows totaling $4.6 billion in January, bringing TTM net outflows to $1.8 billion.  Precious metals (+$3.1 billion) and broad commodity ETFs (+$1.6 billion) were the strongest sub-categories in January.

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Friday, February 4, 2022 @ 2:42 PM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Alternatives Update 4th Quarter 2021
Posted Under: Alternatives
If ever there were ever a case of the Emperor's new clothes, it was the Federal Reserve's (the "Fed") insistence for most of 2020 and 2021 that inflation was not a cause for concern. As late as November 2021, the Federal Open Market Committee's ("FOMC") official statement was still using "transitory" and sticking with the narrative that longer-term inflation expectations remained well anchored at 2 percent. After a stunning 9.6% year-over-year ("YoY") increase for the Producer Price Index ("PPI") and 6.8% YoY increase for the Consumer Price Index ("CPI") for November, the Fed admitted what the entire world knew: inflation was not transitory, a target inflation of 2% was so far in the past, one would need the soon to be decommissioned Hubble telescope to detect it and consumers were acutely feeling the pain of higher prices. The last time inflation was rising and at these levels was the 1970s, not exactly the regime any Fed governor would likely want to revisit. 

The December FOMC statement, in addition to acknowledging inflation concerns, put forth further reductions in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities purchases. However, this marginally hawkish tone was accompanied by several caveats surrounding employment, general economic conditions and the continuing need to provide accommodative and supportive financial conditions. While some might consider this pivot as the harbinger of truly restrictive financial conditions, history might offer some guidance to potentially temper this perspective.

To view the entire article, click here.
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2022 @ 11:10 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Closed-end Fund Review - Fourth Quarter 2021
Posted Under: CEFs
Fourth Quarter 2021 and 2021 Overview

Following the third quarter, when the average closed-end fund (CEF) returned -1.25%, CEFs rebounded during the fourth quarter with the average CEF returning +2.38%. This helped push the average CEF to return a very solid +16.32% for 2021. It was a broad rally in the fourth quarter with equity CEFs returning an average of +4.77%, fixed-income CEFs returning an average of +0.79%, municipal CEFs returning an average of +0.88% and taxable fixed-income CEFs returning an average of +0.67%.

The full year 2021 results are particularly impressive with the average CEF returning +16.32%. Equity CEFs returned an average of +27.28%, fixed-income CEFs returned an average of +10.01%, municipal CEFs returned an average of +8.10% and taxable fixed-income CEFs returned an average of +11.49%.

For 2021, CEF performance was boosted by a significant narrowing of discounts to net asset value (NAV), more on that below, and very strong performance across the equity markets and key credit sensitive fixed-income indices. Indeed, for the year, equity CEFs benefitted from a 28.68% gain in the S&P 500 Index as well as the 7.82% gain in the MSCI All-Country World Ex US Index (Source: Bloomberg). Many key fixed-income indices also posted strong performance in 2021 and helped the performance of several taxable fixed-income categories of the CEF marketplace. For example, for 2021 the ICE BofA High-Yield Bond Index returned +5.35% and the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index returned +5.20% (Source: Bloomberg). The solid underlying performance of the senior loan and high-yield markets helped two of our favored fixed-income CEF categories (senior loan and limited-duration) post very strong performance results for 2021. Indeed, for 2021 senior loan CEFs returned an average of +20.67% and limited-duration CEFs returned an average of +13.19%.

Click here to continue reading.
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 @ 2:03 PM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly
  Asset Flows Monitor January 2022 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor January 2022 Edition

  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs totaled $105.5 billion in December, bringing total ETF assets under management to $7.14 trillion.
  • Equity ETFs had net inflows totaling $82.6 billion in December, bringing trailing 12-month (TTM) net inflows to $662.8 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had net inflows totaling $24.3 billion in December, bringing TTM net inflows to $207.6 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had net outflows totaling $2.3 billion in December, bringing TTM net outflows to $5.2 billion.  Precious metals (-$1.7 billion), energy (-$0.3 billion), and broad commodity ETFs (-$0.2 billion) all had net outflows in December.

Click Here to continue reading.
Posted on Monday, January 10, 2022 @ 11:25 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
 PREVIOUS POSTS
Long-Term Outlook for Cybersecurity Remains Compelling
Asset Flows Monitor December 2021 Edition
Can Adaptive Factor Rotation Add Value?
Asset Flows Monitor November 2021 Edition
Alternatives Update 3rd Quarter 2021
Closed-end Fund Review - Third Quarter 2021
Asset Flows Monitor October 2021 Edition
Rising Demand for Electric Vehicles Highlights the Need for Investments in the Power Grid: Which ETFs May Benefit?
Asset Flows Monitor September 2021 Edition
Near-term Catalysts May Provide Opportunity in Water
Archive
Skip Navigation Links.
Search by Topic
Skip Navigation Links.

 
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved.