Share “New funds mirror optimistic market”

BY DON MECOY Published: November 15, 2009
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There appears to be no shortage of optimism in Oklahoma when it comes to matters financial.

Businessman Keith Geary is unabashedly sunny about the state’s outlook and has launched an exchange-traded fund that reflects his confidence.

The Oklahoma Fund allows investors to buy shares that provide exposure to a collection of state-based company stocks.

Exchange-traded funds trade like stock, but are built like a mutual fund. Each share of the Oklahoma Fund, which trades under the ticker symbol "OOK,” contains a slice of 29 different state-based companies. The representation of larger companies is capped, which prevents the fund from being overly weighted in one stock.

ETFs also offer low expenses and have attracted a huge following among investors. ETFs have been devised to track just about anything that can be indexed. The index underlying the Oklahoma Fund has soared this year at twice the rate of the most popular energy ETF.

With each national story touting Oklahoma’s relatively strong economy, Geary became more convinced that a basket of local stocks would sell.

"We’ve never had a 12-month period where we’ve seen so many stories about how nice things are in Oklahoma,” he said.

Roger Nusbaum, writing for TheStreet.com, said OOK offers a unique value.

"Once you get past the marketing angle and look under the hood, the fund could be popular.”

Meanwhile, local financial advisors Tom Phillips and Garrett Stevens are exhibiting their faith in investors through the planned launch of a family of five ETFs.

FaithShares Trust will offer shares of exchange traded funds based on indexes that track recommendations of organizations representing Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and nondenominational Christian groups.


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