I wrote last week about the best oil ETFs. In the process, I discovered an interesting feature of the PowerShares DB Oil ETF (DBO), of which I had not previously been aware.
Specifically, as I described, other oil ETFs have a practice of automatically rolling into the next month’s oil futures contract when the current month contract expires – even if doing so will cause some price decay, as in “contango,” when the next month’s contract is higher priced than the current months (which commonly happens due to storage costs incurred by the party holding the physical commodity, etc). DBO, on the other hand, designed their ETF to NOT automatically roll into the next month’s futures contract, specifically to address that problem of decay, or “negative roll yield.” Instead, PowerShares uses what it calls an “Optimum Yield” formula to automatically roll into the most attractive near-month futures contract (of the next 13 months). In so doing, DBO thereby claims to optimize the fund’s “roll yield” (whether markets are in a state of contango or the opposite condition, known as backwardation). Continue reading "In Search of the Most Efficient Energy & Commodity ETFs"