Energy ETF Cheat Sheet: Expenses, Dividends, And Returns (OIH, XOP, VDE, XLE, FEG, ENY, AXEN, PSCE, FILL)

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June 7, 2012 11:00am NYSE:ENY NYSE:FEG

Michael Johnston: Energy stocks have struggled mightily so far in 2012, as soft demand for petroleum products and progress towards alternative sources of energy have weighed on this sector. Despite the recent challenges, allocations to energy stocks remain a key component


of many investing strategies, and this sector is well represented in the portfolios of both buy-and-hold investors and more active tactical traders [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio ETFdb Pro Members Only].

For those seeking to overweight energy stocks, there are a number of ETFs that offer exposure to this sector. The Energy Equities ETFdb Category consists of nearly 30 exchange-traded products, including domestic and international funds, as well as products targeting narrow segments of this market such as exploration and production, natural gas, and coal [see a list of all ETFdb Categories].

The Pro member download from the Energy Equity ETFdb Category page can be used to highlight the Energy Equity ETFs with the lowest expenses, highest dividend yields, and best historical performance [see a sample Excel download here; Pro members can download more than 60 ETFdb Category pages and 200 ETFdb Types pages with a free 7-day trial].

Energy Equity ETFdb Category
Number of ETFs 29
ER Range 0.18% to 0.85%
Total Assets $13.6 billion
As of June 4, 2012

Cheapest Energy Equity ETFs

There is a wide range of expenses in this ETFdb Category; some funds charge as little as 18 basis points while others have expense ratios over 0.80% annually.

The cheapest energy equity ETF is the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLE) at 0.18%, followed by the Focus Morningstar Energy Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FEG) and Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:VDE) at 0.19%.

[Use the free ETF Screener to filter ETFs by sector and region exposure, as well as expenses and volume]

Commission Free Energy Equity ETFs

There are three ETFs in the Energy Equity ETFdb Category that are eligible for commission free trading, including:

  • Focus Morningstar Energy Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FEG): Scottrade
  • Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:VDE): Vanguard
  • China Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:CHIE): E*TRADE, Interactive Brokers

Most Heavily Traded Energy Equity ETF

On an average day, the ETFs in the Energy Equity ETFdb Category trade more than 27 million shares. The most heavily traded ETF in this category is the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), which has an average daily volume of about 15 million shares.

Realtime Ratings: Energy ETFs ETFdb Pro Members Only
Metric Top ETF Rating
Liquidity  Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) A+
Expenses  Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) A+
Performance  Dynamic Energy (PXI) A+
Volatility  Focus Morningstar Energy Index ETF (FEG) A+
Dividend  Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH) A+
Concentration  MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund (FILL) A+

[Get access to Realtime Ratings for 1,400+ ETFs with a free 7-day trial to ETFdb Pro]

Best Performing Energy Equity ETFs

The performance of energy equity ETFs is all over the board, especially during the last year. As of June 4, 2012, the best performing Energy Equity ETFs are as follows:

Best Performers
1 Year Dynamic Energy (PXI) -14.51%
3 Years Dynamic Energy (PXI) +55.34%
5 Years Dynamic Energy (PXI) +5.17%
As of 6/4/2012

Highest Yielding Energy Equity ETFs

Energy Equity ETFs aren’t generally known for high dividend payouts, but some products in this ETFdb Category have meaningful dividend yields (as of June 4, 2012):

  • Canadian Energy Income ETF (NYSEARCA:ENY): 3.90%
  • MSCI ACWI ex US Energy Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXEN): 3.13%

Most Balanced Energy Equity ETFs

When comparing potential ETF investments, it is important to evaluate how deep and balanced the underlying portfolios are. Depth refers to how many individual securities comprise an ETF, while balance refers to how “top heavy” a product is–what percentage of assets are concentrated in the ten largest individual positions.

  • Deepest Energy Equity ETF: The MSCI Global Energy Producers Fund (NYSEARCA:FILL)  has approximately 300 individual holdings. The Energy GEMS ETF (NYSEARCA:OGEM), Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA:OIH), and S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PSCE)   are the “shallowest” ETFs, with 25 individual holdings.
  • Most Balanced Energy Equity ETF: The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Explor & Product (NYSEARCA:XOP) has just 16.48% of its holdings in the top ten positions. At the other end of the spectrum, the Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA:OIH) has over 70% of assets in the top ten stocks.

Written By Michael Johnston From ETF Database Disclosure: No Positions.

ETF Database is committed to giving our audience, consisting of both active traders and buy-and-hold investors, information that, to our knowledge, is truthful and non-biased. [For more ETF insights, sign up for our free ETF newsletter or try a free seven day trial of ETFdb ProETFdb Pro Members Only.]


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