If you follow the ETF industry you know that actively managed ETFs are much closer to reality than they were in the past. PowerShares has recently launched an emerging market product with a strategy that, while compelling, might be better suited if the manager had the freedom to reshuffle the holdings more frequently.The PowerShares DWA Emerging Markets Technical Leaders Portfolio ( PIE) screens potential constituents (stocks from just about every emerging market) for relative strength, as index provider Dorsey Wright and Associates sees it, and builds a portfolio of 100 stocks that will hopefully outperform the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund ( EEM). PIE has an expense ratio of 0.90% and rebalances its holdings quarterly. As I see it, there are two risks to owning this fund; one is that the relative strength methodology fails to outperform, and the second is its performance may suffer from not being able to rebalance more often in such a volatile market. PowerShares has a similar fund that owns domestic stocks, the PowerShares Dorsey Wright Technical Leaders Portfolio ( PDP). It has been trading since March.
| A Strong Lineage |
The PowerShares Dorsey Wright Technical Leaders Portfolio has outperformed the S&P since inception.
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| Backtest of PIE |
Dorsey Wright's methodology appears to add value in emerging markets, too.