Back to top

Image: Shutterstock

ETF Areas to Consider to Combat Rising Inflation Concerns

Read MoreHide Full Article

Investors seem worried about the soaring inflation levels that the Fed says is ‘transitory’. According to the Federal Reserve, major part of the inflation has been triggered by the pandemic-driven supply-demand imbalance, which might get resolved in a few months (per a CNBC article).

Going by the latest Labor Department report, the Consumer Price Index in September rose 5.4% year over year compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 5.3% rise, as mentioned in a CNBC article. The metric came in at the highest level since January 1991. It also increased 0.4% for the month, surpassing the 0.3% Dow Jones estimate. The soaring food and energy prices might be primarily responsible for the higher inflation levels.

Studying the inflation data, Seema Shah, chief investment strategist at Principal Global Investors, has commented that “Today’s number shouldn’t move the needle for the Fed. Inflation has already surpassed its goal and, if anything, the higher-than-expected September CPI just reinforces the need to start tapering. November tapering, here we come.” This was mentioned in a CNBC article.

The International Monetary Fund has also asked the Federal Reserves and its peers across the globe to prepare for a backup plan if the inflation levels remain persistently high, per a CNBC article. Thus, investors are now getting mentally prepared for the interest rate hikes to happen sooner than expected or the Fed’s move to taper the bond purchases.

Gold ETFs to Hedge Inflation

Considering the current scenario, gold prices have been rising. The inflationary backdrop in the United States is favorable for gold as the metal is viewed as a hedge against inflation. Moreover, rising inflation often lowers the value of the concerned currency. If the greenback remains subdued, gold will gain some glitter back. The yellow metal recently delivered its biggest rally in seven months as investors remained worried about high inflation levels and the possibilities of decreasing stimulus. Going on, the 10-year Treasuries yield also declined after an initial rise post the data released on Oct 13, raising demand for the non-interest-bearing bullion, per a Bloomberg article.

In this regard, John Feeney, business development manager at Sydney-based bullion dealer Guardian Gold Australia, has said that “Gold might actually start catching a strong bid if high inflation persists, which is a big switch from earlier in the year where taper fears dominated inflation fears. Historically, gold tends to perform very well in inflationary environments, so it makes sense for the market to turn bullish if inflation continues to beat,” according to a Bloomberg article.

Gold ETFs mostly move in tandem with gold prices. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD - Free Report) , iShares Gold Trust (IAU - Free Report) , SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM - Free Report) and GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR - Free Report) are some of the popular ETFs. These funds carry a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold). Below we have discussed these in detail:

GLD

This is the largest and most popular ETF in the gold space, with AUM of $55.66 billion and an average three-month trading volume of 7.3 million shares. The fund reflects the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust's expenses. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/10th of an ounce of gold. The expense ratio is 0.40% (read: September's Weak History Turning True: 5 ETF Buying Zones).

IAU

This ETF offers exposure to the day-to-day movement of the price of gold bullion. It has AUM of $27.98 billion and trades in a solid three-month volume of 8.9 million shares, on average. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/100th of an ounce of gold. The ETF charges 25 basis points (bps) in annual fees.

TIPS ETFs at Rescue

TIPS ETFs offer robust real returns during inflationary periods, unlike its unprotected peers in the fixed-income world. It not only provides shelter from increasing prices but also protects income for the long term. While there are several options in the space to tap the rising consumer prices, we have highlighted the four popular ETFs that could be compelling investments -- iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP - Free Report) , Schwab U.S. TIPS ETF (SCHP - Free Report) , Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF (VTIP - Free Report) and iShares 0-5 Year TIPS Bond ETF (STIP - Free Report) .

TIP

This ETF is the most-popular choice in the TIPS space, with AUM of $34.42 billion and an average three-month trading volume of 3.9 million shares. It tracks the Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Index. It charges 19 bps in fees per year (read: Global TIPS ETFs to Play Now).

SCHP

This fund tracks the Bloomberg US Treasury Inflation-Linked Bond Index (Series-L). SCHP is among the cheapest options in the TIPS space, charging just 5 bps in annual fees. It has AUM of $20.41 billion and trades in a solid three-month average volume of about 2.6 million shares.