Strategas’s Sohn comments on the democratisation of investment through ETFs
Strategas Securities is an institutional macro research shop launched some 16 years ago in the US. Todd Sohn, technical and ETF strategist, explains that the firm is divided into different verticals such as economics or fixed income but also has a technical team that looks at how things are trading which includes ETF research.
The firm launched an asset management arm to cater for separately managed accounts which included unit investment trusts and since January, actively managed ETFs.
“One of the things we do is create these big thematic ideas and create baskets of them, saying what’s the next big move in stocks, bonds, currencies or commodities.”
“ETFs are the best vehicle in the industry right now,” Sohn says. “They are low cost, especially plain, vanilla passive funds and you know what the ingredients are. The transparency factor is so important nowadays with the way that markets move and the sheer amount of product out there and then there is also the liquidity - you can get in and out in seconds.”
Sohn comments that there is a new CCC ETF launched at 40 basis points, a product that you could not get five years ago unless you were an institution. “Now I can be a high schooler with a trading account,” Sohn says.
Strategas’ own ETFs are at USD50 million in assets and enjoying positive performance. “The differentiation of our thematic funds is that they rotate between themes, with three to four themes running at one time such as inflation or de-globalisation.”