We trimmed some more profits off of our Energy equities today (XLE). Price paid $70.79. Price sold $77.60.
Still trimming profits in our Energy sector holdings. (XLE) Price paid $69.23. Price sold $76.92. Discovering Value in the Top 3 Energy ETFs
As most portfolio managers know, building a broadly diversified portfolio has one key building block. Low or negatively correlated assets. Ideally, if each of these building blocks has low correlation to the others, one or more will be falling in value while the others are going up in value. This ideal scenario lends itself to arbitrage opportunities and the ability to buy assets when the market has placed them ‘on-sale’. With that said, have you considered diversifying a portion of your portfolio into the Utilities sector? If you want low correlated assets in your portfolio, I would suggest considering the Utilities sector. The utilities sector has maintained a very low correlation to the U.S. Stock Market over the last 19 years, at just 0.39. I wrote more in depth about this low correlation phenomena right here: Which Equity Asset Class has the Lowest Correlation to the U.S. Stock Market?
Utilities Sector Correlation to U.S. Markets January 1999 – December 2017
Source: Portfolio Visualizer
It’s been a long ride with the Energy Select Sector SPDR® Fund (XLE : $XLE), but it’s finally beginning to pay off. XLE is still a great ETF; we’re still invested in it and I still recommend it. You can read why we invest in XLE right here: Discovering Value in the Top 3 Energy ETFs. Price paid $70.90. Price Sold $74.97.
We began trimming some fat off our Energy Equities today. I don’t foresee any problems in this industry; we’re just trimming some profits to move to another out-of-favor sector of the market. We still believe the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum Portfolio (PXI : $PXI) is a good investment. Price paid $36.15. Price sold $39.56.
When building a diversified portfolio of equities, one of the most important considerations is the correlation coefficient of the individual components in the portfolio. It just wouldn’t make sense to build a portfolio with several different assets that always go up and down simultaneously. If all the components of the portfolio are moving in tandem, there will be few opportunities to take advantage of the arbitrage benefits of re-balancing. And, if all the components of your portfolio are walking in lockstep with each other, why bother with diversifying into multiple funds, why not just buy a Total Stock Market fund or a Total World Equity index fund and leave all these re-balancing shenanigans alone?
There are several well-known equity asset classes that portfolio managers use to try and take advantage of diversification and low correlation. You probably have a few of these assets on your mind now, or at least in your portfolio. Which one do you think has the least correlation to the U.S. Stock Market?