With the broad U.S. equity markets off their most recent highs, some have started to draw parallels to 2008, and some are even starting to prepare their portfolios for a market correction.1
Although we do not believe the markets are headed for a substantial correction or a repeat of 2008, we do think it is important for investors to learn from the past.
One of the most crucial outcomes from 2008 was that many investors became more aware of the importance of downside protection and true diversification. Traditional allocations, as it turned out, generally did not provide enough diversification, and as the markets unwound, correlations
between traditional asset classes increased.
Managed Futures Can Provide Multilevel Diversification
Like during the 2008 sell-off, correlations can also increase during positively trending markets, which is what we have witnessed over the past few years, ultimately decreasing the diversification benefits traditional allocations may provide. Institutional investors have long utilized managed futures
strategies as a way to achieve diversification and performance potential in almost any market. Consider some of the benefits managed futures provide:
• They are usually non- or negatively correlated to traditional assets.
• Unlike long
-only investments, managed futures employ long/short
strategies designed to profit from both rising and falling markets.
• They have the potential to perform in both inflationary
The DTI Index Has Performed—Even During a Crisis
As illustrated below, the Diversified Trends Indicator™ (DTI®) Index
has delivered consistent performance over the past 10 years. More important, the DTI Index performance held up during the 2008 financial crisis as correlations between equity and fixed income securities tended to increase and everything moved down together.
DTI Index Performance
• Performance During a Crisis –
The DTI Index was up 8.29% over the 2008 calendar year, impressive when compared to the S&P 500 Index return of -37.00%. During October 2008, the DTI Index was up 10.41%, compared to the S&P 500 Index return of -16.79%.
Low Correlations to Broad-Based Indexes
Over the past 10 years, the DTI Index had a correlation of -0.25 and -0.17 to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index
and the S&P 500 Index, respectively. To put these numbers in perspective, the MSCI EAFE Index
had a correlation of 0.12 and 0.89 to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index and the S&P 500 Index, respectively. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index
had a correlation of 0.13 and 0.79 to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index and the S&P 500 Index, respectively.2
An Established Strategy—Now in the Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Structure
Traditionally, to access managed futures strategies, individuals would have to make significant investments with hedge funds or commodity trading advisors (CTAs)—an expensive proposition. These investments typically charge a 20% performance fee on top of a 2% annual fee. Additionally, CTAs generally lack transparency, have limited liquidity and can introduce single-manager risk.
The WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy Fund (WDTI)
is managed using a quantitative, rules-based strategy designed to provide returns that correspond to the performance of the DTI Index. These are some of the advantages we feel an ETF structure can provide:
• Low fees of only 95 basis points3
• Intraday liquidity
• Full transparency of strategy and holding
• No investment minimums, sales loads or redemption fees
• No K-1 filing
Learn more about our approach to alternatives here.
Sources: WisdomTree, Bloomberg; refers to the S&P 500 Index high on 9/18/14.
Sources: WisdomTree, Bloomberg, 9/30/04–9/30/14.
Ordinary brokerage commissions apply.