Follow the Insiders With This ETF

ETF Trends

There are two forms of insider trading. The nefarious variety that makes for attention-grabbing headlines and the type that pertains to high-ranking executives buying shares of their companies. When it comes to legal insider trading, there are multiple reasons why c-level executives and directors sell shares and not all are negative. However, there is only one reason why they buy shares of their employer: Because they think the stock is going higher.

The Guggenheim Insider Sentiment ETF (NFO) is the fund with which investors can play insider buying trends. While the concept behind NFO may seem novel, even hyper-focused, the results are nothing to scoff at. NFO is up nearly 21% year-to-date and has returned 52% over the past two years, slightly outpacing the S&P 500 along the way. [Another Market-Beating Niche ETF]

NFO, which has about $135.5 million in assets under management, tracks the Sabrient Insider Sentiment Index. The index “is comprised of approximately 100 securities selected, based on investment and other criteria, from a broad universe of U.S.-traded securities, including MLPs, and ADRs,” according to Guggenheim.

The trick with many niche ETFs, be they buyback, spin-off or insider trading funds, is to prove to investors there are really no tricks at all behind the ETF and that its concept is a legitimate one. Following legitimate insider trading has been proven to be a way generating positive returns.

“It’s been empirically shown that insider trading trading has beaten the market indexes for 50 years,” according to Insider Monkey. “Academic studies have been publishing this for 40 years.”

Company executives are usually buying with long-term holding periods in mind. They are not looking for a quick trade if for no other reason than that they are required by law to disclose their purchases and sales. A sale of a block shares purchased just a few weeks earlier could give the impression that the executive thinks his company’s shares are now appropriately valued with limited future upside. Investors would react, increasing selling pressure on the stock and no executive would willfully look to create such a scenario. [Are Specialty ETFs Right for You?]

NFO is light on low-beta sectors with consumer staples, utilities and health care combining for just over 13% of the fund’s weight. Financial services, discretionary and technology names combine for 54.5% of NFO’s weight, giving the fund a beta of 1.36. Top-10 holdings include Herbalife (HLF), Tyson Foods (TSN) and Celgene (CELG).

NFO has a P/E ratio of 14.8 and a standard deviation of 19.13%, indicating the fund is roughly 560 basis points more volatile than the S&P 500.

Guggenheim Insider Sentiment ETF

View photo



ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

View Comments (0)