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Commentary DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF Fourth Quarter 2021 Update

During the quarter, the iM DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF gained 2.01% versus the SG CTA Index benchmark’s loss of 0.91%. For the full year, the ETF gained 11.38% versus the benchmark’s 6.17% return.

Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Short term performance is not a good indication of the fund’s future performance and should not be the sole basis for investing in the fund. Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by visiting

Quarterly Review

2021 was a challenging year for hedge funds — and, for that matter, most active managers. Beneath the market surface, investors faced wrenching volatility. Bubbles in disruptive tech, meme stocks, SPACs, and crypto seemed to inflate and deflate overnight, catching both long and short investors offsides.  COVID subsided then surged then morphed, whipsawing value and growth investors along the way.  China launched a surprise crackdown on the tech industry and some popular hedge fund stocks lost significant amounts of value in a matter of days.  The Fed flipped on a dime from easy-forever to aggressive tightening and punished macro investors betting on a policy mistake and runaway inflation.  This chaotic market environment meant that a few prescient macro calls – the return of inflation and rising equities (especially relative to bonds) – were difficult to fully monetize.  Consequently, after a historically good 2020, when hedge funds were early on both the recovery and value rotation, 2021 can best be characterized as “two steps forward and one step back.” 

We see three important lessons.  First, the consensus shifts radically and often.  Just a year ago, few market observers expected any inflation at all – forecasts showed a decade of perpetually low interest rates.  Even by mid-August, most expected no rate hikes in 2022; today the debate is between three and four.  Second, the broad macro call is only half the battle:  predicting how markets respond presents its own challenges.  Handed a crystal ball in December 2020 that showed 7% CPI a year later, who would have expected gold to decline, 10-Year Treasuries to struggle to breach 2%, and commodity-heavy emerging market stocks to underperform global equities by 25%?  Third, we think this is just the beginning.  That is, we are in a regime shift from a decade of soaring equity and bond prices, deflation, near zero interest rates, and endless monetary easing to something more complicated.  No one knows precisely what the world will look like in a few years, nor how these changes will ripple through markets, but we are confident that hedge funds will be presented with many compelling opportunities to profit.  Our wagon is hitched to their train.

Performance and Positioning

During the quarter, the Fund maintained short positions in the EUR and Yen – a bet on faster rate hikes in the US – while also pivoting from short to long gold.  Additionally, the portfolio maintained its profitable long position in crude oil and rotated from international developed to large cap US equities.  During the quarter, the fund outperformed the SG CTA Index by 290 bps, more than recovering from the previous quarter’s underperformance (which, as noted previously, was driven by the lack of direct exposure to some esoteric commodity futures).  The Fund ended the year ahead of the Index by approximately 520 bps and 438 bps per annum since inception.

Portfolio Characteristics

Asset Class Exposure (%)
US Equities9%
International Developed Equities8%
Emerging Market Equities-4%
Fixed Income-53%
Top 5 Holdings
2 Yr Treasury
10 Yr Treasury

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The funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The statutory and summary prospectuses contain this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be obtained by calling 1-800-960-0188, or visiting Read it carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV), may trade at a discount or premium to NAV and are not individually redeemed from the funds. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. The Fund is “non-diversified,” so it may invest a greater percentage of its assets in the securities of a single issuer. As a result, a decline in the value of an investment in a single issuer could cause the Fund’s overall value to decline to a greater degree than if the Fund held a more diversified portfolio.

The Fund should be considered highly leveraged and is suitable only for investors with high tolerance for investment risk. Futures contracts and forward contracts can be highly volatile, illiquid and difficult to value, and changes in the value of such instruments held directly or indirectly by the Fund may not correlate with the underlying instrument or reference assets, or the Fund’s other investments. Derivative instruments and futures contracts are subject to occasional rapid and substantial fluctuations. Taking a short position on a derivative instrument or security involves the risk of a theoretically unlimited increase in the value of the underlying instrument. Exposure to the commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. Exposure to foreign currencies subjects the Fund to the risk that those currencies will change in value relative to the U.S. Dollar. By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary’s investments. Fixed income securities, or derivatives based on fixed income securities, are subject to credit risk and interest rate risk.

A commission may apply when buying or selling an ETF.

basis point is a value equaling one one-hundredth of a percent (1/100 of 1%)

The 10-year Treasury yield is the current rate Treasury notes would pay investors if they bought them today. The 10-year Treasury yield is closely watched as an indicator of broader investor confidence.

The SG CTA Index is an index published by Société Générale that is designed to reflect the performance of a pool of Commodity Trading Advisor (CTAs) selected from larger managers that employ systematic managed futures strategies. The index is reconstituted annually.

The S&P 500 Index consists of 500 stocks that represent a sample of the leading companies in leading industries. This index is widely regarded as the standard for measuring large-cap U.S. stock market performance.

Index performance is not illustrative of fund performance.  An investment cannot be made directly in an index. 

iM Global Partner Fund Management, LLC  has ultimate responsibility for the performance of the PartnerSelect Funds due to its responsibility to oversee the funds’ investment managers and recommend their hiring, termination, and replacement.

The iMGP Funds are Distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.  LGE000123 exp. 4/30/2022