From the June 2008 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Going Active and Going Nuclear

Invesco PowerShares launched its first actively managed equity exchange-traded funds in April. The four new PowerShares funds are: o Active AlphaQ, benchmarked against the Nasdaq-100 index (PQY) o Active Alpha Multi-Cap, benchmarked against the S&P 500 index (PQZ)o Active Mega-Cap, benchmarked against the Russell Top 200 index (PMA) o Active Low-Duration, benchmarked against the Lehman Brothers 1-3 year U.S. Treasury index (PLK)

According to PowerShares, the benefits of active ETFs include lower costs compared to actively managed mutual funds, trading flexibility and the potential for greater tax savings. Investors would still bear the transaction costs of buying or selling their shares.

All three stock funds will charge annual expense ratios of 0.75 percent and the lone bond fund will charge 0.29 percent.

"Today's listings include the first actively managed equity ETFs, granting investors direct access to a diverse range of products, these listings begin yet another chapter in the dynamic and growing ETF industry," said Lisa Dallmer, NYSE Euronext's senior vice president for exchange-traded funds and indexes.

PowerShares also launched the PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio ETF (PKN). The fund is based on the WNA Nuclear Energy Index, which contains a basket of globally traded companies that are engaged in the nuclear energy industry with representation across reactors, utilities, construction, technology, equipment, service providers and fuels. Its annual expense ratio is 0.75 percent. The Wheaton, IL-based company manages $12 billion in assets and is a unit of Invesco, Ltd.

The PowerShares Nuclear ETF will compete with the Market Vectors Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR). The latter charges 0.65 percent annually and uses a different index strategy by weighting stocks according to their market capitalization size. So far in 2008, NLR has declined by 8.7 percent.

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