A Closer Look At A Lesser-Known iShares Active Commodity ETF

May 16, 2017 1:56pm NASDAQ:COMT

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iShares is of course well-known as one of the largest ETF issuers, and primarily known for their passive equity and fixed income strategies, but today we profile one of iShares’ actively managed funds that seems to fly under the radar.


COMT (iShares Commodities Select Strategy ETF, Expense Ratio 0.48%, $203 million in AUM) debuted less than three years ago in October of 2014. The fund, according to literature, provides “exposure to a broad range of commodities through futures and commodity producer stocks.”

This is an interesting approach since the strategy is not relegated to “just futures” or “just equities” and the fund owns names such as MON, SYT, DE, and BHP to name a few that we see when delving through the portfolio holdings details (note that COMT has one hundred sixty-six holdings presently).

While COMT is far from the size of the largest “Diversified Commodity” ETF, which is DBC (PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund, Expense Ratio 0.85%, $1.9 billion in AUM), it is worth noting that DBC debuted back in 2006, and only incorporates commodity futures (not individual equities as well). DBC is also, like most of the other more tenured and larger products in this space, index based and not actively managed.

Other funds of stature in terms of asset size here that fit this description above include the $1 billion GSG (iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust ETF, Expense Ratio 0.75%) and DJP (iPath Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return ETN, Expense Ratio 0.75%, $826 million in AUM).

COMT is not alone in being a newer and actively managed alternative in this space, however, and is structured as an ETF and not an ETN (which had previously been a bit of a constraint in the industry concerning the structure limitations of funds that invested in commodity futures). We also see funds such as PDBC (PowerShares Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 Portfolio, Expense Ratio 0.60%, $431 million in AUM), FTGC (First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund, Expense Ratio 0.95%, $120 million in AUM), RCOM (Elkhorn Fundamental Commodity Strategy, Expense Ratio 0.75%, $9.8 million in AUM), and DWAC (Elkhorn Commodity Rotation Strategy, Expense Ratio 0.99%, $2.4 million in AUM), which are likely not at all familiar to most investors, but are demonstrative of the growing interest in actively managed commodity strategies in the form of ETFs.

The iShares Commodities Select Strategy ETF (NASDAQ:COMT) was trading at $33.02 per share on Tuesday afternoon, down $0.02 (-0.06%). Year-to-date, COMT has declined -3.70%, versus a 7.40% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

COMT currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of B (Buy), and is ranked #21 of 127 ETFs in the Commodity ETFs category.


Disclaimer: The content of this article is excerpted from a daily newsletter from Street One Financial. While ETF Daily News may edit the contents and add a relevant title to the piece, the author, Paul Weisbruch, does not endorse or recommend any issuer or security mentioned herein.

About the Author: Paul Weisbruch

paul-weisbruchPaul Weisbruch is the VP of ETF/Options Sales and Trading at Street One Financial. Prior to joining the team at Street One, Paul served as the Director of RIA and Institutional ETF Sales at RevenueShares ETFs from December 2007 until November of 2009. Before RevenueShares, Paul was employed by Susquehanna International Group from 2000 until 2007 serving in roles including OTC/NYSE Institutional Block Trading, Nasdaq/OTC Market Making, ETF/Derivatives Intelligence and Strategy, Algorithmic Trading, as well as acting as the PHLX Floor Specialist in the ETFs, SPY and DIA.Paul has been actively involved in the ETF space from both a product and trading standpoint since 2000. Additionally, Paul has well forged relationships with national RIAs, institutional pension fund managers and consultants, mutual fund and hedge fund managers, and also the ETF media. Co-authoring the “S1F ETF Daily” since 2009, the daily piece has become a must for many portfolio managers in the ETF space, with segments regularly appearing in the likes of Barron’s, WSJ, and ETFTrends.com for instance.

He holds his Series 4 (Registered Options Principal), 6, 7, 55 (Equity Trader), 63, and 65 licenses. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S. – Economics), graduating magna cum laude, and has an MBA from Villanova University.


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