3 Low Correlated ETFs Surging In Shaky Markets [PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund, ETFS Physical Palladium Shares]

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEARCA:PALL)

Platinum and palladium are the best known among the six platinum group metals (PGMs). Demand for PGMs comes mainly from autocatalysts used to decrease harmful emissions in vehicles.

Palladium is produced mainly in Russia and South Africa, which together account for more than 80% of global supply of the metal. (Read: 3 ETFs You can Love Forever )

Mine production in South Africa has been going down due to worker strikes, safety related stoppages and rising production costs. Supplies from Russia are also uncertain due to potential trade sanctions.

On the other hand, the demand for the metal is on the rise as the global automakers are increasing their production. Further, auto manufacturers are substituting palladium for more expensive platinum in catalytic converters.

According to  US Geological survey,  as much as 25% palladium can routinely be substituted in diesel catalytic converters; while in some applications, the substitution can be as much as 50%.

Recent launch of two palladium ETFs in South Africa has further boosted the demand for the metal. PALL, the only physically backed exchange traded product for palladium presents a cost-effective, convenient and secure way of investing in palladium. The ETF introduced in January 2010, currently has $507 million in assets under management. The fund charges 0.60% annually to the clients for operating expenses.


MLPs have been quite popular with income oriented investors in the ultra-low interest rate environment. In addition to attractive yields, they also have solid growth potential and stable cash flows.

Energy production boom in the US remains the long-term growth driver for MLPs. Like all high income products, MLPs also tend to react negatively to rise in interest rates initially.
But research shows there is no material correlation between 10-year treasury rates and Alerian MLP index performance in the long-term. One of the reasons is that many MLPs use fixed rate debt for majority of their borrowings.

AMJ is the most popular ETN in the MLP space with about $6.1 billion in assets under management and daily volume over 500,000 shares.

The note charges investors 85 basis points a year in fees for its services and pays out an attractive yield of 4.7% currently.

The investors should note that the ETNs are subject to maximum issuance limit and this ETN stopped issuing new notes in June 2012. Investors who buy this ETF at a premium to its NAV incur the risk of loss in case they sell when the premium is no longer present. However as of now, the ETN is trading close to its NAV.

Despite ETN structure, I prefer this to the most popular MLP ETF (AMLP) which suffers from some tax-related issues. (See: Most ETFs are Tax Smart, is Yours? )

The Bottom-Line

Adding ETFs with low correlations to your stock portfolio can providediversification and better risk-adjusted return. Further the three ETFs discussed above look poised to outperform in the coming months.

This article is brought to you courtesy of Neena Mishra From Zacks.com

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