Sharpen Profits With New WisdomTree Fund

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors interested in funds targeted toward real returns and hedge-fund-like strategies have another choice after the debut of the WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund (RRF). The fund combines inflation-linked bonds and commodities to provide a return that is in excess of the "rate of inflation over long-term investment horizons."

The big picture strategy is to allocate two thirds of the fund to inflation-lined bonds from around the world including the U.S. and one third to commodities.

More narrowly the inflation-linked bond portion currently allocates to issues from Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. Roughly 80% of the exposure in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities is in maturities of 2020 or later, creating interest rate risk. Simply speaking, interest rates in many countries are at all-time lows, or close to it. If interest rates move up then prices move down. The longer the maturity the greater the impact on prices from higher rates.

Inflation securities have a chance of faring better in this scenario as the par value of these bonds is reset higher at the rate of inflation. However, if higher rates come about due to perceived credit risks, without much inflation, then the maturities currently in the fund could turn out to be in the wrong part of the yield curve.

The commodity allocation is incredibly robust with exposure to the energy, livestock, soft commodities, precious metals, industrial metals and grains. Commodities are generally thought to be good hedges against inflation. This is one reason why there have been so many commodity funds created in the last few years. One interesting twist is that the fund can go short certain commodities that are unattractive technically along the lines of the strategy employed by the WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy Fund ( WDTI). That fund will short commodities that are below their respective seven-month moving average.

The previous decade showed us that simple stock/bond/cash portfolios may not cut it anymore in terms of long-term portfolio success. The best chance for success must include assets and exposures that until recently were not well understood and were not accessible. This new fund offers a lot under the hood in terms of blending together two asset types that each target the same goal, democratizing a very sophisticated idea for people who would rather have a simple portfolio using only a couple of funds for each of the major asset classes.

The WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund also continues the rounding out of the WisdomTree product line. The company started offering funds that only targeted dividend weighted equity indices but has since branched out to foreign bonds, currencies (both individual currencies and themed baskets), alternatives and now real returns.

While the fund is comprehensive the potential for interest-rate risk means that this is not set-and-forget. Like all holdings it must be monitored for meaningful changes in the fundamentals underlying the component countries and commodities.

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At the time of publication, Nusbaum held no positions in any of the funds mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Roger Nusbaum is a portfolio manager with Your Source Financial of Phoenix, and the author of Random Roger's Big Picture Blog. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Nusbaum appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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