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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.


ETF Expert

) -- Window-dressing money managers need to show that they are "long" the energy sector in their quarterly reports. Not surprisingly, there are scores of energy services ETFs and energy exploration ETFs on the "new highs" list. You'll find:


Oil Services HOLDRs

(OIH) - Get VanEck Oil Services ETF Report


iShares DJ Oil Equipment & Services

(IEZ) - Get iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF Report


PowerShares Dynamic Oil Services

(PXJ) - Get Invesco Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ETF Report


SPDR S&P Oil &Gas Equip/Services

(XES) - Get SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF Report

TheStreet Recommends


iShares DJ Energy

(IYE) - Get iShares U.S. Energy ETF Report


SPDR S&P Select Energy

(XLE) - Get Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund Report


Vanguard Energy

(VDE) - Get Vanguard Energy ETF Report



Global X China Energy

(CHIE) - Get Global X MSCI China Energy ETF Report



PowerShares S&P Small Cap Energy

(PSCE) - Get Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF Report

In contrast, there are asset managers who have been overweight non-OPEC nations and oil services since Q4, 2010. (See

"The Economics of Oil Favor Canada ETFs and Oil Services ETFs."


Of course, the "energy trade" may become overcrowded at some point. Investors need to think about alternative means for generating a combination of capital appreciation and income for their portfolios. Indeed, they should consider using pullbacks to do what money managers have been doing... snapping up shares of equity income ETFs, preferred ETFs and dividend ETFs.

Data show that many of these exchange-traded investment types have experienced increased inflow in recent weeks. What's more, outside of the energy world, income-producing ETFs dominate the "new highs" list. In the dividend arena, you'll find:


Claymore Guggenheim S&P Global Dividend

(LVL) - Get Invesco S&P Global Dividend Opportunities Index ETF Report


S&P International Dividend

(DWX) - Get SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF Report


WisdomTree Global Equity Income

(DEW) - Get WisdomTree Global High Dividend Fund Report


First Trust Morningstar Dividend

(FDL) - Get First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund Report


iShares DJ Dividend

(DVY) - Get iShares Select Dividend ETF Report

Last week, I expressed a bit of wonder with respect to

interest in S&P International Dividend (DWX)

. The fund has significant exposure to developed world financial services companies at a time when Spanish banks are receiving downgrades and default woes are plaguing Portugal sovereign debt.

By the same token, investors may be looking to dividend ETFs to lessen portfolio volatility, increase quarterly cash flow and minimize stock uncertainty. Considering the number of these ETFs appearing on the "new highs" list -- FDL, DVY, DEW -- the trend toward modest risk seems clear. After all, most of the broader benchmarks are still 2%-3% away from new highs.

And there are those who are willing to journey part of the way up the risk ladder. They'll take on more risk than bonds for a higher income stream, but they'll avoid too much exposure to uncertainty in common stock.

Enter preferred ETFs.

PowerShares Financials Preferred

(PGX) - Get Invesco Preferred ETF Report


Powershares Preferred

(PGF) - Get Invesco Financial Preferred ETF Report


iShares S&P Preferred

(PFF) - Get iShares Preferred & Income Securities ETF Report

all made an appearance on the "new highs" list. Each delivers monthly income at approximately 7% annualized; each has a modicum of potential for incremental capital appreciation.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.