The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
ETF Expert) -- Last week, I wrote a piece on ETFs with remarkably positive trends in relative strength. Specifically, I highlighted 3 successful investments that rarely garner media coverage, yet deserved a bit more of the limelight. (See "
I received a great deal of direct feedback on this particular article. Do I own Market Vectors Gaming (BJK) in my own portfolio? (Answer: Not at the moment.) Is the trading volume on lesser-known ETFs an issue? (Answer: It depends.) Don't I know that Columbia is an emerging market, not a frontier market? (Answer: Get a grip, wannabe. The reclassification happened just last fall.)
As I look at the tape, I consider discussing the ongoing trend toward high-income production. Indeed, REIT ETFs and high-yield bond ETFs have hit fresh 52-week highs (4/24/2012). On the other hand, if writing about the wild and the exotic revs up the reader base, why should I disappoint?Here, then, are three more ETFs with momentum that you probably haven't heard "word one" about: 1. Guggenheim Defensive Equity (DEF). Outside of the REIT ETFs and the high-yield bond ETFs, you won't find many exchange-traded investments hitting new 52-week peaks. Guggenheim's DEF is one of the few that can make this claim as well as trumpet its 5-star Morningstar rating. DEF's defensive enough to experience only 2/3 of the beta volatility of the S&P 500, yet present comparable 5-year performance percentages. Currently, DEF is above short-term (50-day) and long-term (200-day) moving averages. 2. PowerShares Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment (PEJ). A majority of stock ETFs had fallen below a 50-day moving average in April, giving rise to the notion that a more substantial market correction was inevitable. PEJ, however, barely budged. This exchange-traded vehicle passively tracks an index comprised of discretionary eateries like Starbucks (SBUX), Chipotle (CMG) and McDonald's (MCD) as well as discretionary entertainment corporations like Walt Disney (DIS) and Viacom (VIAB). Since PEJ began trading in mid-June of 2005, it has handily outpaced the S&P 500. 3. First Trust ISE Water (FIW). This global ETF seeks to replicate the performance of the ISE Water Index -- a modified market cap-weighted index comprised of stocks of potable water and waste-water corporations. Surprisingly enough, since its inauspicious inception in mid-2007, it has outperformed the Russell 3000. FIW has a P/S (price-to-sales) below 1 at just 0.81. And while recent momentum may be fading due to its international exposure, FIW still maintains a relative strength ranking in the 70th percentile of the entire ETF universe. You can listen to the ETF Expert Radio Show "LIVE", via podcast or on your iPod. You can follow me on Twitter