Harvest launches HRIF – a multi-sector income ETF with no leverage

Image courtesy Harvest ETFs/Shutterstock

By Michael Kovacs, President & CEO of Harvest ETFs

(Sponsor Blog) 

The Harvest Diversified Monthly Income ETF (HDIF:TSX) was built to meet Canadian investors’ need for income and sector diversity. We built it with a straightforward thesis, by holding an equal weight portfolio of established Harvest Equity Income ETFs, we could deliver growth potential and high monthly income. That made it one of the most popular Canadian ETFs launched in 2022.

Each of the ETFs held in HDIF captures a portfolio of leading large-cap businesses. They also each employ an active and flexible covered call option strategy to generate high income yields, offset downside, and monetize volatility. HDIF combined those ETFs with modest leverage at approximately 25% to deliver an enhanced income yield.

In April of this year, we launched the Harvest Diversified Equity Income ETF (HRIF:TSX). It holds the same equal-weight portfolio of Harvest ETFs, but without the use of leverage. Put simply, leverage adds a level of risk that some investors are not comfortable with. Therefore HRIF can deliver that same diversified portfolio of underlying ETFs and a high income yield in a package that more risk-averse investors may want to consider.

A truly diversified portfolio

At Harvest ETFs, we always start with portfolios of what we see as high-quality businesses. The ETFs held in HRIF capture companies that lead their sectors. By combining those portfolios into a single ETF, HRIF delivers a very diverse exposure to these companies.

The equal-weight portfolio held by HRIF at launch holds the following six ETFs.

Each ETF holds a portfolio of leading companies in their particular sector and market area. We define that leadership through quantitative and qualitative metrics such as market cap, market share, performance history and — in the case of certain underlying ETFs — dividend payment history. The companies selected in each ETF’s portfolio demonstrate leadership across those metrics.

HRIF also delivers a diverse set of performance drivers. Tech has been a market growth leader for over a decade and remains a key allocation for investors. Healthcare shows significant defensive qualities, especially during inflationary and recessionary times. The brand leaders in HBF and Canadian leaders in HLIF are selected in large part due to their resilience across market cycles, market shares, and dividend payment history. US banks have faced headwinds lately but have long-term positive exposure to interest rate increases and remain structurally important to the global economy. Utilities are an almost textbook definition of defensiveness, providing stability and ballast for the ETF.

Taken together, HRIF delivers leadership from a wide set of companies which, combined with its high income yield, makes it an attractive ETF for many investors.

HRIF’s High Income Yield Explained

HRIF launched with an initial target yield of 8.0% annually, paid as monthly cash distributions. That yield is earned by combining the underlying yields of its component ETFs, each of which employ an active & flexible covered call option strategy.

Covered call option ETFs effectively trade some upside potential for earned income premiums by ‘writing’ calls on a percentage of the ETF’s holdings. Where many covered call option ETFs use a passive strategy, writing calls on the same percentage of holdings each month, the Harvest ETFs held in HRIF use an active strategy.

Our active strategy means write levels are flexible up to a hard 33% write limit. That means 67% of the portfolio is exposed to market upside at all times. Additionally, when option premiums are higher Harvest portfolio managers can either write at lower levels to capture more upside or write at the same levels and ensure adequate cashflow is maintained for investors. Because volatility raises options premiums, this active strategy has advantages during periods of volatility as it can monetize that spikiness on the markets.

That spikiness, or elevated volatility, is a key consideration for investors. The high income yields paid by our covered call option ETFs can help investors generate returns during volatile periods and earn income that can support their lifestyle. Whether they’re an investor starting out or a retiree looking to cover expenses or RRIF withdrawals, we believe that a high income strategy combined with a large-cap diversified portfolio can benefit any investor. That’s what HRIF was built to deliver.

Michael Kovacs founded Harvest Portfolios Group Inc. in 2009 and is a 35-year veteran of the Investment management business. Since 1991 he has held senior management positions with 4 companies. Michael began his career as an Investment Advisor and for seven years managed money for individual investors. He is a strong believer in providing individuals with Investment products that have long term fundamental mandates and portfolio transparency. Michael has been featured in the Globe & Mail, National Post and BNN. Michael is also the Chairman of the Board for Harvest.



For general information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a solicitation to buy or sell the securities referred to within. Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in HARVEST Exchange Traded Funds (managed by Harvest Portfolios Group Inc.). Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns including changes in unit value and reinvestment of all distributions and do not take into account income taxes payable by any securityholder that would have reduced returns. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made with guidance from a qualified professional. Certain statements included in this communication constitute forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, those identified by the expressions “expect”, “intend”, “will” and similar expressions to the extent they relate to the Investment Fund. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts but reflect the Fund’s, Harvest and the Manager of the Fund’s current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. Although the Fund, Harvest and the Manager of the Fund believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and, accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein. The Fund, Harvest and the Manager of the Fund undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statement or information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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