The Next Investing Frontier: Liquid Alternative ETFs
Think back to your desires five years ago. As you’ve changed and the world around you has shifted, chances are your desires have also evolved. Similar progressions can be seen in the investing realm.
As investors have become more sophisticated, they have sought securities that provide:
- Enhanced transparency
- Lower fees
- Increased liquidity
This changing behavior paved the way for emerging investment opportunities, including liquid alternative ETFs. In today’s infographic from IndexIQ, we explain what liquid alternative ETFs are, explore their benefits, and discuss how to use them in a portfolio.
What Are Liquid Alternative ETFs?
In order to define liquid alternative ETFs, it’s easier to break the term into two parts: liquid alternatives and ETFs.
Liquid alternatives are baskets of securities with exposure to alternative strategies. They can be accessed through ETFs, mutual funds, or closed-end funds with daily liquidity. Alternative investments are any asset that is not a stock or bond, such as commodities, real estate, or private equity.
ETFs are baskets of securities that trade on an exchange. They can contain various asset classes including stocks, bonds, commodities, or a mixture.
The benefits of ETFs have been combined with the benefits of liquid alternatives to form a relatively new investment opportunity: liquid alternative ETFs.
Liquid alternative ETFs are the subset of liquid alternatives that trade on an exchange. However, they are not widely used yet. In a recent survey, only 8% of institutional investors currently use them, or have used them in the past. Why aren’t more investors adding them to their portfolios?
Misconceptions about Liquidity
Simply put, there’s limited usage because investors lack understanding of the asset class. In fact, institutional investors view “liquidity during market stress” as the #1 disadvantage of liquid alternative ETFs.
In reality, liquid alternative ETFs are sufficiently liquid in most market conditions. ETFs benefit from two layers of liquidity: the liquidity of the ETF itself, and the liquidity of the underlying securities, known as implied liquidity.
Implied liquidity is accessed through market makers, typically large banks, that facilitate investor fund flows. If there is:
- Excess demand: Market makers buy the underlying securities, and sell ETF units.
- Excess supply: Market makers buy ETF units, and sell the underlying securities.
When investors sell ETF units for extended periods of time, market makers have many options at their disposal:
- Sell the individual underlying securities, adjusting their pricing to ensure profitability
- Hold ETF units and their underlying securities until the selling pressure dies down
- Hedge their risk by purchasing derivative instruments or ETFs from other market segments
This range of options ensures liquid alternative ETFs remain liquid, even in volatile markets.
Liquid alternative ETFs offer several key benefits for investors looking to branch out from their traditional portfolios.
The average expense ratio for all 55 U.S. alternative ETFs is just 1.04%. In comparison, hedge funds charge an average management fee of 1.3%—plus a 20-30% performance fee.
In contrast to some alternative investments, liquid alternative ETFs provide a high degree of transparency in terms of investment strategy, holdings, reporting, and fees.
Liquid alternative ETFs have exhibited low correlations with traditional asset classes. Historically, this has provided increased diversification and mitigated risk.
In addition to their many benefits, liquid alternative ETFs are quite versatile in their applications.
Liquid Alternative ETFs in Practice
Institutional investors use this asset class in three main ways.
- Core Component: Investors use liquid alternative ETFs strategically as a long-term, diversifying portfolio component.
- Transition Management: While cash and money market funds are the most common transition vehicles, alternative ETFs provide efficient market exposure at a reasonable cost.
- Fund-of-funds replacement: Many institutional investors use fund-of-funds in their alternative portfolios, but this strategy brings additional fees, a lack of transparency, and potential overdiversification. Liquid alternative ETFs are a compelling replacement.
Whether an investor has short-term or long-term needs, liquid alternative ETFs are a useful tool.
Poised for Growth
With numerous benefits and applications, liquid alternative ETFs are gaining traction. In fact, the market is expected to grow nearly 2.5x by the end of 2020, from $47 billion to $114 billion.
As more institutional investors gain an understanding of this versatile asset class, they will be poised to implement a powerful tool that helps them achieve their clients’ goals.
Expanding the Cannabis Consumer Base with Odourless Products
This infographic explores the stigma that surrounds cannabis consumption, and a new technology that could provide a promising solution.
Expanding the Cannabis Consumer Base
The prohibition of cannabis is lifting around the world, and millions of consumers are pushing the market to exceed $75 billion by 2025, from $13 billion in 2019.
As awareness grows, more information about the health benefits of cannabis drives consumer interest, but there’s one problem. The smell of cannabis products—particularly when smoking flower—deters both current and potential cannabis consumers.
Today’s graphic from CannabCo explores the social stigma that clouds the cannabis industry and introduces a new technology that could provide a disruptive solution.
The Pressures of Social Stigma
The lingering stigma that surrounds cannabis consumption has existed for decades, limiting the number of recreational and medical users.
Although numerous dimensions of this stigma exists, two of them are particularly prominent and damaging to consumers:
- Cannabis is addictive: Being negatively labelled as a drug addict, stoner, or “pothead”, personas which are associated with criminal activity.
- Cannabis is an identity: Smokers have difficulty concealing their consumption, as the smell can cling to the user and become part of their identity.
This intrusive and long-lasting odour is a distinctive and often unwanted aspect of smoking cannabis. Despite great strides being made to change perceptions about the industry, the odour continues to fuel the stigma.
Where Does the Smell Come From?
The odour comes from chemicals found in the plant, known as terpenes. They produce aromatic oils that give cannabis strains a unique scent—such as lemon, pine, or even coffee—and have been used for thousands of years in traditional herb-based medicine.
Terpenes and cannabinoids work together to multiply the plant’s medicinal properties, in a process known as the entourage effect. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, as new users are attracted to the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but are deterred by the smell, harsh burn, headaches, and coughing that comes with inhaling it.
The Path to a Cleaner Cannabis
Aside from the pain points that arise from smoking, there is also a need to combat the smell of cannabis products when they are stored. Therefore, an odourless cannabis could potentially reach an entirely new group of consumers who are deterred by the smell, and provide peace of mind for existing consumers.
CannabCo has developed a breakthrough technology, called PURECANN™, which creates a purer form of cannabis by eliminating the smell and harshness. It also creates a wealth of associated benefits:
- Virtually undetectable odour of stored dry product.
- Undetectable odour while smoking in public.
- No third-party gadgets or devices required by the user.
- Less residual “day-after effect” associated with smoking cannabis.
The unique technology removes the plant’s aroma, without compromising any of its medical properties. Moreover, it also benefits non-smokers who do not want to smell second-hand smoke.
Opening the Floodgates
While smoking cannabis is not something to be ashamed of, the PURECANN™ technology can provide users with the option of smoking more discreetly.
CannabCo dedicates itself to using new technologies to enhance the way people consume cannabis, and its most recent creation has enormous potential.
By providing a cleaner product, the cannabis experience could become more tolerable and accessible. As a result, the heavily stigmatized industry could drastically transform—and convince millions of new consumers to take notice.
Gold in the Abitibi: The Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is advancing the Chimo Mine Gold Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, showing its potential with past producing mines.
Gold in the Abitibi: Cartier Resources Chimo Mine Project
Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is deploying the right strategy in the right region, with the right backers to find gold faster at a lower cost.
Proven Endowment: The Abitibi Greenstone Belt
There are many prolific past-producing gold districts in Canada, but the Abitibi is one of the largest and best understood gold-bearing regions with readily available exploration infrastructure.
This region extends from Wawa in Northwestern Ontario to the east near Val-d’Or Quebec – a landscape that hosts some of the most productive gold mines in Canada.
The company’s Chimo gold mine project located in the historic Abitibi Greenstone belt of Quebec builds on a legacy of gold production with a project ready for investors.
The best place to find gold is where companies discovered and mined it in the past. Between 1964 and 1997, three companies produced 379,012 ounces of gold at the Chimo Mine property.
This type of strategy is known as brownfield exploration. Brownfield exploration looks for gold in areas known to host gold mineralization. It offers investors less risk, reducing the amount of uncertainties a company faces.
Ounces in the Ground: 2019 Resource Estimate
The company delivered within three years its first-ever resource estimate and proved the value its Chimo Mine Project. In November 2019, Cartier published its first mineral resource estimate of the central gold corridor on the Chimo mine property:
Measured Resources: 481,280 ounces of gold
Inferred Resources: 417,250 ounces of gold
Cartier has proven a resource in one third of the Chimo property, and there is the north and south gold corridor which it is currently drilling.
Cartier Resources has built on the foundations of a proven past producer with a new resource estimate, to put the Chimo Mine project back on the Abitibi gold map.
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