Areas of Focus
- Emerging Markets Equity: VanEck seeks to uncover S GARP (structural growth at a reasonable price) opportunities. Vaneck focuses "on companies with strong and innovative management, robust business models, proven track records, high barriers to entry, and a positive attitude toward minority investors." One example fund is GBFAX Emerging Markets Fund.
- Emerging Markets Fixed Income: This focus area at VanEck combines hard and local currency bonds, one of the first of its kind to do so in one unconstrained offering. VanEck's approach "seeks to identify undervalued opportunities through investments in emerging market debt securities issued in both hard and local currencies." One example fund is EMBAX Unconstrained Emerging Markets Bond.
- Exchange Traded Funds: VanEck is one the world's largest providers of ETFs. The company's ETFs are liquid, transparent, and spanning many global asset classes. The company aims to "empower investors to help build better portfolios with access to compelling investment themes and strategies." One example fund is the Biotech ETF.
- Gold and Precious Metals: VanEck is a recognized leader in this investment class, investing in global mining companies with opportunity for value. The company's strategy in this focus area "combines a top-down macro approach and a bottom-up research approach, applied by an investment team with technical geology and mining backgrounds." One example is the VIP Global Gold Fund.
- Natural Resources and Commodities: VanEck invests across all natural resources sub-sectors and market capitalizations. The company focuses on undervalued investments with potential for growth. One example is the HAP Vectors Natural Resources ETF.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- One key strength of VanEck as a management firm is that the company's offerings are highly diversified. This means that the company holds steady even during market volatility, because investors are able to be flexible. According to Investors Business Daily, ""VanEck has a wide breadth of ETFs, some designed to be strategic buy-and-hold ETFs and others that may be considered opportunistic trading tools," Ed Lopez, head of ETF product at VanEck, told IBD. "So, it's not uncommon for us to see inflows even when markets are experiencing broad declines. We saw modest positive net inflows for the year."" Another strength is that the company has always offered many products in the gold, precious metals, and natural resources sectors. This also benefits the company during economic downturns as many investors seek out these types of investments when stocks aren't performing well.
Perception and Reputation
- An article published by Investors Business Daily in January 2019 calls VanEck "one of the top 10 ETF providers in the U.S." The article states that the company is holding steady despite many ups and downs in 2018. The article features an interview with Ed Lopez, head of ETF product at VanEck. In addition, the article highlights VanEck diversified offerings as a key to its success even in volatile market conditions.
- At the same time, an article from ETF.com names two of VanEck's ETFs as among the worst performing ETFs of 2019. This includes the VanEck Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF and the Vectors Coal ETF. This indicates that the company's good reputation is not consistent across the board.
- One Reddit thread from last year on the WallStreetBets Reddit notes the launch of the VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF. The original post notes the top 10 holdings of the ETF and the poster notes, "I'm in." The post was 78% upvoted on a Reddit which has almost 1 million members.
- In another Reddit thread, on the AusFinance Reddit for Australian personal finance, the original post announces the launch of VanEck's ethical ETF. This ETF, Vectors MSCI Australian Sustainable Equity ETF, focuses on sustainable investments and avoids fossil fuel industries and other environmentally controversial investments. In the thread, some commentors respond positively, noting that it seems like a solid ETF, while others are critical of the ETF's claims of being ethical and sustainable.
- In one Medium blog from a fintech company, they advise investing in VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF. The main argument for the advice is from a protectionist perspective. According to the blog, "This idea aims to encourage investors to protect themselves against risks. One of the tools for this case is gold, related assets and derivatives. We propose to increase the weight of precious metals in the protective portfolio in which there can also be bonds, shares of protective sectors and cash."