Market Vectors ETFs
Van Eck Mutual Funds
6/21/12: Morningstar interviews David Schassler, Director of Manager Research, VMAAX: "Most investors are so under allocated to alternative investments, and that’s why we are seeing publicity on alternatives, especially within mutual funds.” Watch video »
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During the first quarter of 2014, the market experienced periods
of heightened volatility resulting from, we believe, concerns about
both the U.S. Federal Reserve’s withdrawal from the monthly asset
purchase program, and slowing growth and heightened political tensions
in certain emerging markets. The news that dominated headlines was
Russia’s military presence in, and eventual annexation of, Crimea,
which was met with strong disapproval from the United States and
other developed nations.
A review of alternative strategies during the period reveals that
U.S.-focused long/short equity funds, as a group, were particularly
challenged. The Market Vectors North America Long/Short Equity
Hedge Fund Beta Index (MVLSNA) returned -0.61% in the first
quarter, while the S&P 500 Index returned 1.80%. A review of the
holdings of the MVLSNA Index reveals that the factors which explain
the performance of long/short equity funds during the quarter have
developed a bias towards the growth sectors within small-cap
securities. In March, we experienced significant dispersion between
the growth and value sectors, with the Russell 2000 Growth Index
underperforming the Russell 2000 Value Index by -3.70%.
The Investment Committee for the Fund continues to position the
Fund’s risk target toward the mid-point of its 4% to 6% annualized
volatility range, while remaining well diversified across long/short
equity, event driven, fixed income and global macro strategies.
The most significant change in allocation during the quarter was a
reduction in that to SW Asset Management (“SW”) (5.09% of Fund net
assets*), based on our internal risk management discipline and higher
conviction in other strategies at this point in the market cycle. We also
liquidated our position in a structured note that provided exposure
to the Deutsche Bank Equity Mean Reversion Index and the ProVol
Index. The proceeds from the reduction in our allocation to SW and the
liquidation of the structured note were redistributed across other fixed
income, long/short equity and event-driven strategies.
The Fund’s aggregate allocation to long/short equity strategies
returned 2.98% and outperformed the MVLSNA Index, which returned
-0.61%. The largest contributor to performance within the strategy,
and for the Fund, was the sub-advisor Coe Capital (“Coe”) (11.41%
of Fund net assets*), with a return of 5.35%. Coe benefited from
stock selection within the industrial and energy sectors. The largest
detractor within the long/short equity category was RiverPark (11.35%
of Fund net assets*) with a return of -0.90%. RiverPark’s negative
performance during the period was mostly due to short positions in
the technology sector.
*All weightings as of March 31, 2014.
Read full 1Q Commentary >>
Director of Manager Research, Multi-Manager Alternatives Investment Team
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In general, “hedge-style” strategies are advanced investment techniques that may, among other things, attempt to reduce risk and enhance returns. Typically, “hedge-style” investments have been structured as private investment vehicles known as hedge funds. Recently, however, these strategies have begun to appear in mutual fund structures as well.
At Van Eck, we group hedge-style strategies into five broad categories:
Seeks to exploit price differences in identical, related or similar securities on different markets or in different forms so as to minimize overall market risk. Strategies may include convertible arbitrage, fixed income or interest rate arbitrage, pairs trading and merger arbitrage.
Seeks to exploit market trends and inefficiencies in equity markets. Strategies may include equity market neutral, long-only, long/short equity and short-only.
Fixed Income (Long/Short)
Seeks to exploit market trends and inefficiencies in fixed income markets. Strategies may include long-only, long/short fixed income and distressed securities.
Seeks to exploit broad market trends in equities, interest rates or commodity prices. Strategies may include emerging markets, special situations and managed futures.
Seeks to control/adjust the beta and volatility of the Fund. Selected securities, typically ETFs, are allocated (both long and short) to keep the Fund's exposures in line with the targets set by the investment committee. "Cash" refers to cash and/or cash equivalents.
Unless otherwise stated, portfolio facts and statistics are shown for Class A shares; other classes may have different characteristics.
†NAV: Unless you are eligible for a waiver, the public offering price you pay when you buy Class A shares of the Fund is the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the shares plus an initial sales charge. The initial sales charge varies depending upon the size of your purchase. No sales charge is imposed where Class A shares are issued to you pursuant to the automatic investment of income dividends or capital gains distributions. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that the investor obtains the proper “breakpoint” discount. Class C, Class I and Class Y do not have an initial sales charge; however, Class C does charge a contingent deferred redemption charge. See the prospectus and summary prospectus for more information.
1Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, dividends and interest payments on securities sold short, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 2.40% for Class A, 3.15% for Class C, 1.95% for Class I, and 2.00% for Class Y of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until May 1, 2015. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.
2The HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index is designed to be representative of the overall composition of the hedge fund universe, and includes convertible arbitrage, distressed securities, equity hedge, equity market neutral, event driven, macro, merger arbitrage, and relative value arbitrage strategies. The S&P® 500 Index consists of 500 widely held common stocks covering industrial, utility, financial and transportation sectors. All indices are unmanaged and include the reinvestment of all dividends, but do not reflect the payment of transaction costs, advisory fees or expenses that are associated with an investment in the Fund. An index’s performance is not illustrative of the Fund’s performance. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made.
The views and opinions expressed are those of Van Eck Global. Fund manager commentaries are general in nature and should not be construed as investment advice. Opinions are subject to change with market conditions. Any discussion of specific securities mentioned in the commentaries is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities. Fund holdings will vary.
You can lose money by investing in the Fund. Any investment in the Fund should be part of an overall investment program rather than a complete program. Because the Fund implements a fund-of-funds strategy, an investor in the Fund will bear the operating expenses of the “Underlying Funds” in which the Fund invests. The total expenses borne by an investor in the Fund will be higher than if the investor invested directly in the Underlying Funds, and the returns may therefore be lower. The Fund, the Sub-Advisers and the Underlying Funds may use aggressive investment strategies, including absolute return strategies, which are riskier than those used by typical mutual funds. If the Fund and Sub-Advisers are unsuccessful in applying these investment strategies, the Fund and you may lose more money than if you had invested in another fund that did not invest aggressively. The Fund is subject to risks associated with the Sub-Advisers making trading decisions independently, investing in other investment companies, using a particular style or set of styles, basing investment decisions on historical relationships and correlations, trading frequently, using leverage, making short sales, being non-diversified and investing in securities with low correlation to the market. The use of leverage may magnify losses. The Fund is also subject to risks associated with investments in foreign markets, emerging market securities, small cap companies, debt securities, derivatives, commodity-linked instruments, illiquid securities, asset-backed securities and CMOs. Please see the prospectus and summary prospectus for information on these as well as other risk considerations.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and other information. Please read them carefully before investing.
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