Monday, September 30, 2013

Midcap ETF Review for CSD, RPV and RYJ

Performance of Top Index Funds

Given the attractions of an exchange traded fund, a midcap ETF review for the stock market paves the way for investing in lusty firms of moderate size. For this purpose, the first order of business is to select a timespan for sizing up the returns on investment.

On one hand, a lengthy window of observation provides a heap of data for a thorough analysis of performance. On the other hand, the broad-based approach has its drawbacks as well. One stumper springs from the dynamism within the financial forum. Due to the explosive growth of index funds in the millennium, a prolonged timespan has the side effect of brushing aside numerous entrants that have stepped into the arena only in the recent past.

For this reason, the wily investor has to strike a balance between the conflicting factors in order to pick an apt window of evaluation. In striking a compromise, a time frame of three years seems like a fitting choice in general.

From a different stance, the financial crisis of 2008 was a watershed in the global economy. In recognition of the landmark, a duration of five years ending in spring 2013 has the advantage of spanning the epic blowup and its aftermath. For this reason, the longer window of half a decade can provide a host of pointers on the true nature of motley markets.

In addition to grasping the price action in the arena, the wise investor takes into account a number of additional factors relating to the short run as well as the long range. A case in point is a modicum of liquidity needed for the artful player to enter and exit a given market in a timely fashion.

A second hallmark of the savvy investor lies in an aversion for levered vehicles. The reason stems from the constant threat of sudden death and/or gradual demise that dogs any type of rickety scheme based on high gearing. Due to the specter of certain doom, only a heedless speculator lusts after shaky contraptions pumped up by the gimmicks of leverage. In other words, the wise investor relies only on sturdy rigs that move with the target market in a direct and forthright way.

In sifting through a database of index funds focused on midsize firms, a straightforward approach is to begin with a muster of the front-runners in the field. Then the other factors such as liquidity and risk can be brought to bear on the appraisal.

In line with this thrust, we begin with a tally of raw performance over the course of three years ending in the autumn of 2013. The resulting list of candidates can then be whittled down further by a couple of secondary screens. As we noted above, the first filter deals with the liquidity of the ETF in the marketplace. Meanwhile the second criterion concerns the directness of the setup; that is, the absence of leverage.

Based on this regimen, the top 3 index funds turned out to be CSD, RPV and RYJ. The purpose of these pools is to keep pace with their respective benchmarks: the Beacon Spin-off Index, the S&P Pure Value Total Return Index, and the Raymond James SB-1 Equity Index.

Among these pacers, CSD turned out to be the clear winner. Moreover the return on investment for the spearhead displayed a series of higher peaks as well as rising troughs over the span of half a decade.

Of the pair of runners-up, the average payoff for RPV over the past three years was comparable to that for RYJ. On the other hand, the former pool broke down more severely than the latter during the financial flap of 2008. After the smashup, though, RPV for the most part kept up with its rival and managed to eke out a slightly better performance in recent years.

To place the turnout of the high flyers in context, the eagles were compared against a couple of renowned benchmarks of the stock market. Looking at the big picture, the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 giants stands out as a popular proxy for the bourse as a whole. Meanwhile the S&P 400 Midcap Index is arguably the leading beacon within the vale of midsize stocks.

Each of the foregoing yardsticks has spawned an index fund of its own. The offsprings carry the ticker symbols of SPY and MDY respectively. On the upside, the trio of winning funds for midcap stocks – namely, CSD, RPV and RYJ – trumped the popular benchmarks of the bourse by a solid margin.

NOTE: The full report is a document in PDF form. The publication, listed under the title of “Midcap ETF Review for Investing in Top Markets”, may be downloaded here.  

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