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Managing Safe-Haven ETFs

While impressive, on a number of occasions, I have warned investors that the Swissie is not a "set it and forget it" position. While the currency's seemingly unstoppable ascension during this period was welcomed for concerned investors, the threat of a super strong currency has weighed heavily on the Swiss government. Fearing that the Swiss National Bank would take action to pare back the franc's rise, I have encouraged investors to stay flexible and keep exposure to funds like the CurrencyShares Swiss Franc (FXF) small.

At the start of this week, these concerns came to fruition. The SNB stole headlines around the globe announcing that it was taking steps to weaken the franc. According to the release, in an effort to achieve this goal, the body is, "prepared to buy foreign currencies in unlimited quantities."

Although the Swissie and FXF may witness strength in the foreseeable future, for now conservative investors will likely be best sticking to the sidelines here.

Defensive ETFs will likely generate interest in the days and weeks ahead as resounding market turmoil leads many investors to abandon risk. While it may be tempting to dive headfirst into anything that resembles a safe haven, as we have witnessed recently, not every line of defense is equal. Preparation is the key to developing safe and effective protection.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned iShares Gold Trust and iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund.
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