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Shipping ETF Sails Calmer Seas

Stocks in this article: SEA DRYS

Investors have been flocking to individual stocks like DryShips (DRYS) to capture the upswing of the shipping industry, but the Claymore/Delta Global Shipping Index ETF (SEA) may provide a safer opportunity.

As China's demand for steel continues to soar, investors are starting to move back into shipping. SEA is a good way to invest in this cyclical sector while minimizing the risks that come with picking individual shipping stocks.

SEA tracks the Delta Global Shipping Index, which measures the performance of companies listed on global developed markets within the maritime shipping industry. SEA's portfolio includes dry bulk goods and the leasing and/or operating of tanker ships, container ships, specialty chemical ships and ships that transport liquefied natural gas or dry bulk goods.

The Diana Armada

The fund's components are based on market capitalization and liquidity, factors that help promote liquidity in the ETF as a whole. SEA includes 30 holdings, with a 58.74% weighting in industrials and a 41.26% weighting in energy. The fund's expense ratio is a reasonable 0.65% considering that the fund is specialized.

While dry bulkers, including media favorite DryShips, have been grabbing the headlines lately, it is beneficial to SEA's investors that both dry ships and tankers are included in the underlying basket.

The demand for oil tankers tends to be relatively stable, as oil is used for many purposes across the globe. The demand for container ships fluctuates with the economy as consumers spend less money on goods like sneakers.

The demand for bulker ships fluctuates even more wildly and depends largely on demand in China and emerging markets in need of goods like steel. SEA includes a variety of shipping companies and ships in its portfolio, helping diversify investors in an inherently volatile industry.

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