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Global Shipping ETF Has Smoother Sailing

One composition quirk in SEA is that among its 26 holdings is Teekay Shipping (TK) and TK's three spinoff companies: TK LNG Partners (TGP), Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO) and Teekay Tankers (TNK). The four "Teekays" add up to 14% of the fund.

SEA has an attractive trailing yield of 3.01% because many companies in the industry have high payouts, but there is volatility in the dividends as well as the stocks, and any future dividends paid out by SEA could fluctuate considerably.

Companies in the shipping industry should benefit from increased economic activity, which results in increased exportation of finished goods and also transportation of energy products like oil and liquid natural gas.

Global economic activity has been sluggish due to ongoing problems in Europe and Japan and the weak recovery in the U.S. so it is not surprising that SEA hasn't moved much in recent months. The fund should be a good proxy for capturing a global economic recovery whenever it comes.

At the time of publication, Nusbaum had no positions in securities mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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