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4 Macro Investments for 2012

IQ Hedge Macro Tracker ETF

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The biggest detractor about any of the previous three names is that they require a hands-on approach; if macro factors shift (if the Fed changes rates on excess reserves), you need to be ready to shift your positions. A more turnkey solution is the IQ Hedge Macro Tracker ETF (MCRO), a relatively newer fund that tracks a basket of hedge funds with a global macro bent.

They key to this fund is risk-adjusted return -- not absolute return. In other words, it should provide exposure to global macro themes while reigning in its risk. As a result, investors should expect its returns to be comparatively muted when markets are swinging wildly.

One consequence of using an ETF to gain exposure to a global macro strategy is the cost. You're paying 1.09% of your assets for money management with MCRO -- vs. nothing if you apply a macro strategy yourself. While the turnkey nature of this ETF makes it an attractive alternative, hands-on investors will prefer managing their own macro investments.

To see these four global macro trades in action, check out the Global Macro 2011 portfolio at Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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Stock quotes in this article: GLD, NEM, EWW, MCRO 
At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.

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