Once Largest ETF in the World Drops Out of Top 10

At one point in history, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was the world’s largest ETF.

Courtesy of a massive gold bull market and the accompanying hysteria, GLD’s assets mushroomed to $77.5 billion. That was in August 2011.

Back than, the S&P 500 traded around 1,100. Gold traded near 1,900. How the roles have reversed (Gold at 1,100, S&P at 2,050).

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) is now $205 billion strong, while GLD amounts to ‘only’ $27 billion, the 12th largest ETF in the world.

This data may be of some use to contrarians on gold bugs.

In fact, back in December 2013 I used official data from iShares and State Street on the SPDR Gold Shares, iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) for very insightful sentiment analysis.

The data (tons of gold/silver held, and trading volume) helped me come to the conclusion that gold and silver were still miles away from a major low (view original  SLV analysis or GLD analysis).

Unfortunately iShares does not offer that data anymore (I send an e-mail every month to bug them, but it hasn’t helped).

Other sentiment data and technical analysis triggered a buy signal (sent to subscribers of the Profit Radar Report) for gold in November 2014 at 1,140 (111 for GLD).

We’ve been holding on ever since, but gold needs to surpass strong overhead resistance to give the preferred bullish scenario some teeth.

The fact that GLD has fallen out of favor with investors is a check mark on the bullish side of the ledger.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Wal-Mart of ETF Providers Offers Most Bang for The Buck

 

Wal-Mart is known for rigorous pricing, swallowing up market share and frustrating competition. The Wal-Mart of the ETF market place is going about business almost the same way, but this Wal-mart can’t offer everything.

The ETF market place offers many exotic choices, such as a Global Carbon ETF, Forensic Accounting ETF, and IPO ETF, but that’s not what makes ETFs attractive and efficient.

Yes, BMW may build an electric car, but their flagship product is the ultimate driving machine.

The flagship ETF product is a plain and simple index ETF. Who builds the best index ETF?

2013 Index ETF Inflows

Since 2010, Vanguards index ETF market share has grown from 15 to 20% while iShares (owned by BlackRock) and State Street bemoan small losses (datasource: Bloomberg).

In 2013 Vanguard ETFs grew by $51 billion, receiving 32 cents of every dollar invested.

Index ETF Fees

The average Vanguard ETF has an expense ratio of 0.14%, compared with 0.35% for State Street’s SPDRs and 0.39% for iShares’ ETFs.

This is not a true apples to apples fee comparison, as State Street and iShares offer some more specialized ETFs with higher fees.

What about the most popular S&P 500 ETF?

The bellwether SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) has an expense ratio of 0.11%. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) comes in at 0.07%, while the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: VOO) has a price tag of 0.05%.

ETF Holdings

As per its patent, Vanguard is able to pool mutual fund and ETF assets and issue different shares (such as ETF).

As a result, Vanguard ETFs provide a more pure representation of the underlying index. On average, iShares ETF hold 312 securities, State Street ETFs 308, and Vanguard ETFs 1,171.

Unlike iShares and BlackRock, Vanguard is not a publicly traded company and doesn’t have to worry about pleasing Wall Street.

It All Doesn’t Matter, if …

… you buy at the wrong time.

Even if you have the best-in-class product, you will still lose money if you buy at the wrong time. Neither State Street, nor iShares or Vanguard will tell you when to buy (chances are any advisor will always tell you now is the best time to buy).

When is the right time to buy? Here are a few tips.

Buy Low, Sell High – How to Spot the Best S&P 500 Entry Points

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (stocks, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. We are accountable for our work, because we track every recommendation (see track record below).

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.