Recent data reports and economic indicators have been mixed when it comes to the health of the American consumer. This has led some investors to think retail stocks are undervalued, while other investors believe they are overvalued. So whether you fall into the camp that thinks the next recession is “just right around the corner” or that the poor retail sales figures reported in December were not a sign the economy is struggling, but simply a blip in the data caused because of the government shutdown; there are a few newer Retail ETFs which give you the option to invest regardless of the way you think the market is headed.
The first place to start looking if you want to be long retail is with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT). The XRT would be most investors first choice if you are looking for plain vanilla long Retail ETF investing. XRT has been around since 2006; it has a lower than average expense ratio, when compared to others on this list, at 0.35%. IT has $250 million in assets, 96 holdings and is equally-weighted and draws stocks from the S&P Total Market Index, not just the S&P 500. It also invests in both e-commerce retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Since most people would agree retails future is more online, the most basic ‘online’ Retail ETF is the Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY). IBUY has an inception date of April 20th, 2016, and offers equally weighted, well-diversified exposure to global online retailers. Firms must derive 70% of their revenues from online sales and can be any size in terms of market-cap (subject to the standard typical minimum size and liquidity constraints). The fund has 75% of its assets in US-based companies and 25% in foreign stocks. IBUY has an expense ratio of 0.65%, which is on the ‘high’ side, but considering the exposure the fund offers, it is not unreasonable. IBUY currently has $275 million in assets spread out over its 42 different holdings, which have a weighted average market cap of $52 billion. Wayfair (W), Etsy (ETSY), eBay (EBAY) and PayPal (PYPL) are four of the funds top 10 holdings, with none representing more than 5% of the fund. Continue reading "A Few New Retail ETF Investing Options"