By Kostya Etus, CFA, Co-Director of Research and Senior Portfolio Manager

Did you know we regularly publish articles on Here are the top five most-read blogs posted by our team in 2019. Looking over them provides some insight into our thinking over the last year. 

No. 5 ETF Trends: CLS Investments’ ETF Dashboard

by Rusty Vanneman, CFA, CMT, Chief Investment Officer, Orion

  • How has the ETF industry evolved over the last year? Rusty broke it down into various categories, including management style (active vs. passive) and region (domestic vs. international) to identify developing trends. Understanding these trends can help position portfolios and clarify investor sentiment.

No. 4 Thematic ETFs: The Current Stage in ETF Evolution

by Kostya Etus, CFA, Co-Director of Research and Senior Portfolio Manager

  • This piece provides a timeline review of how ETFs have evolved and highlights the industry shifts that have driven growth. In today’s saturated ETF landscape, issuers have come up with an innovative idea – thematic ETFs. We reviewed the top themes currently in the marketplace, along with a few ideas on how to play each one.

No. 3 The Little Things Still Matter in ETF Investing

by Grant Engelbart, CFA, CAIA, Director of Research and Senior Portfolio Manager

  • Often, the expense ratio is the main consideration when choosing ETFs. But Grant believes it’s the little things that still matter when it comes to ETF selection and an ETF’s asset growth. Some of the aspects explored include commissions, availability, securities lending, and portfolio management.

No. 2 Defense Wins Championships

by Kostya Etus, CFA, Co-Director of Research and Senior Portfolio Manager

  • There are many variables investors can control when investing: cost, time, risk, etc. Unfortunately, we tend to focus most on the one thing we can’t control: returns. This article shows that while an undiversified portfolio may have higher average returns, a diversified portfolio tends to have higher cumulative returns and significantly lower risk.

No. 1 The Snack You Know: Home-Country Investing Bias

by Jackson Lee, CFA, Quantitative Portfolio Manager

  • Human beings tend to choose the product they know and are often willing to pay a premium for it. This irrational behavior can also be seen in investing. Investors like to stick with the stocks they know, often resulting in a home-country bias. We believe that avoiding this bias is prudent for long-term investors as it can help generate higher risk-adjusted returns.

 BONUS — the top three CLS Blogs:

No. 3 How to Perfectly and Ruthlessly Ruin Your Investment Portfolio

by Jeovany Zelaya, Client Portfolio Manager

  • An anecdotal guide on how to end up with as little money as possible when it comes to your investment portfolio and, along the way, end up hating yourself. A great way to figure out things not to do in investing and pick up some general life lessons.

No. 2 Is a Recession Really That Bad?

by Kostya Etus, CFA, Co-Director of Research and Senior Portfolio Manager

  • The prospects of a recession continue to be a hot topic. We took a closer look at some of the key economic indicators to figure out how close we may be to a recession. Further, we evaluated the ever-important question: If a recession does come about, what might it mean for the markets?

No. 1 Truth About Liquid Alternatives

by Shana Sissel, Director of Investment Due Diligence and Senior Portfolio Manager

  • This article compares liquid alternatives structured as 40 Act funds to the hedge funds that inspired them. There are a few limitations detailed out for the fund structure, but the general benefits of using alternatives are maintained. We believe this makes alternative funds a source of market risk diversification and alpha generation.