PowerShares NYSE Century Portfolio (NYCC) tracks an index of companies incorporated in the U.S. for at least 100 years. It has attracted $3.9 million since launching in January and charges 50 basis points in fees. The fund holds almost 400 stocks, including Alcoa, Williams Companies and (somewhat surprisingly) Foot Locker.
"I can't think of a rationale for this, even if stability is what you're after," Bogart said. He noted that the fund includes holdings in companies that are far newer than 100 years, so long as they've acquired an older organization, and that old companies that have recently declared bankruptcy (such as General Motors and CIT Group) are included, as well.
"It's a unique portfolio in that what's missing is as significant as what's there," said Rosenbluth. He noted that two of the smallest sectors in the S&P 500—materials and utilities—make up 21 percent of NYCC's holdings, while technology and health-care exposure is very light. He also noted that the fund's 50 basis point fees seem high for a passive portfolio with low turnover.
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"It's an interesting idea, but it's not clear if the marketplace is clamoring for [it]," Goldsborough said.
Invesco, which issues the PowerShares line, declined to respond to the analysts' comments.