The Trackers


telescope-The trackers, or ETFs (Exchanged-Traded Fund), have a performance identical to that of a stock index that they observe and replicate. The trackers are bought and sold as easily as an action. Some mimic the CAC 40, others the Eurostoxx 50, still others of less well-known indices in emerging countries (to the Brazil Bovespa), or even bonds.

On these products, the number of transactions has exploded since the beginning of the year: more than 1.3 million registered transactions, against 740 000 in the same period in 2008. On the other hand, the traded volumes are indented. It is true that they were gone year last with the financial crisis.

Faced with this demand, financial institutions regularly launch new trackers. European investors now have the choice between more than 800 trackers. The number of products rose 26.7% with 193 launches on January 1st.

 In France also

In France, the most important volumes focus on the trackers which replicate the CAC 40 (Ex: Lyxor Lev CAC 40) and the Eurostoxx 50 (Ex: iShares stoxx 50). However, the trackers that totaled the number of transactions this year are the strategy trackers. They replicate clues often created specially for them, such as a tracker that offers double the daily performance of the CAC 40 (if the latter wins 1%, the tracker takes 2% and vice versa). The sharp drop in late 2008 markets has highlighted the potential of so-called "Bear" trackers which are progressing as much as the index fall in the day (for example, if the CAC 40 losing 2%, the tracker 'bear' wins 2%).


Assets under management of trackers stood at 206 billion dollars at the end of October in Europe, representing a new record, according to preliminary figures from Barclays Global Investors. This amount is 0.6% higher than the previous record of $ 204 billion set in September 2009. Since the beginning of the year, assets under management increased by 44.2 percent while the MSCI Europe index grew by 25.5%.

 More than 1.3 million registered transactions, against 740 000 in the same period in 2008. An increase of + 75%

iShares, is far the most important provider of trackers in Europe, both in the number of products, 168, as assets under management, $ 80,20 billion. He holds a market share of 39%. Lyxor Asset Management occupies the 2nd place with 118 trackers available, 41.94 billion under management and a market share of 20.4%. It is followed by Db x-trackers, which has 113 ETF Manager $ 34,53 billion. Its market share is 16.8%.


Unlike index mutual funds valued once a day, ETFs are traded throughout the day, as they are rated continuously. Eligible for SRD (deferred settlement Service), they have a leverage effect by allowing the investor to defer payment of a purchase at month end. With respect to costs, there is no right of entry or exit, just the classic brokerage fees of the financial intermediary.

In addition, the management fees are very competitive, often well below 1%. UCITS merge between them because they are losing their attractiveness due notably to the craze for trackers (instrument that allows to "play the market decline").

 A multitude of possibilities

Stocks, bonds, currency, commodities, sectors, countries, size of capitalization or even strategy trackers offer today a multitude of investment opportunities. So, he must remain very vigilant about the nature of the product we buy and the risks that are unique. An investor in stocks, Trackers, derivatives must never forgotten he assumes the risks associated with its investment.

On these two charts, we can see that the Lyxor ETF Brazil tracker has progressed much more than the Lyxor CAC 40 since the low point of the crisis in March 2009. This underscores the interest of investors for emerging as the Brazil.

November 13, 2009, the tracker that follows the CAC 40 took 53% from its lowest annual while his Brazilian counterpart has increased 127%.

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