Top Macro ETFs From Alpha Think Tank

July 23, 2014’s Alpha Think Tank experts pinpoint three prospective countries.

Working extensively on’s Alpha Think Tank publication, I feel privileged to hear firsthand geopolitical and investment insights from some of the most renowned strategists in the world.

Our new weekly publication has depth, consisting of macroeconomists like Nouriel Roubini, along with geopolitical strategists like Ian Bremmer and George Friedman. Our all-star roster also includes chief investment strategists, technical strategists, currency experts, national best-selling authors and even indexing gurus. (For a full list of strategists, check out our Alpha Think Tank home page.)

The diverse insights we get from so many different corners of the investment world provides us with invaluable investment views. We then take these insights and use our market-leading analytics to select the best ETFs to target these themes.

We’ve now covered almost two rounds of strategist interviews since our publication started in early February. I heard many investment themes through the course of six months, but several were mentioned more than others.

Here are three of the most-talked-about macro themes I’ve heard thus far, along with the ETFs selected by our Analytics team, to capture those themes.

SPAIN iShares MSCI Capped Spain (EWP | B-94)

Spain has been front and center for many of our strategists since our think tank first convened in early 2014, starting with Don Luskin, the chief investment officer at the research and investment consultancy Trend Macrolytics. In late January, he was very bullish on Spain, calling it the “Tennessee of Europe.” Luskin reiterated his call in early May that peripheral Europe’s equity rally was still in its early innings.

In March, Roubini sang a similar tune for the eurozone, which he said could surprise on the upside, as risks from a eurozone breakup subsided. He singled out Spain as the best of peripheral Europe. Only a few weeks ago, Roubini told us he expects outright bond purchases by the European Central Bank by the end of this year, which would continue to feed the ongoing eurozone equity rally.

From a technical perspective, Spain (EWP) continued to be Tom Dorsey’s No. 3 overall pick, based on his indicators, when we last interviewed him in late June.

For cap-weighted Spanish equities, it doesn’t get any better than EWP. For 53 basis points a year, the fund holds 22 large- and midcap Spanish companies. The fund’s marketlike coverage means financials, mainly Banco Santander, dominate its weighting. With $2.5 billion in assets and trading more than $25 million at a daily spread about a penny wide, EWP caters to both large and small investors. Also, the fund’s portfolio yields roughly 3.5 percent.



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