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Only 312 products are on ETF Deathwatch for January, the lowest count in 21 months. Nine additions and 16 removals produced a net decline of seven. A full dozen came off the list due to improved health, while the other four met the ultimate fate of closure and delisting. The current count of 312 consists of 210 ETFs and 102 ETNs.

A large portion of the new members are quite young, and there are still plenty of opportunities for them to attract enough assets to survive. Others have been around a long time, and joining the list at an old age signifies waning investor interest that may be difficult to revive. SPDR S&P International Financial (IPF) is one example, and it has been on the market for more than five years. For some reason, international sector ETFs have always been a tough sell, so it's not really a surprise to see this.

A more notable addition is PowerShares Dynamic OTC (PWO). It was launched more than ten years ago, in May of 2003. There were only 131 products listed for trading at that time, perhaps making it a little easier to attract investor attention. The fund's assets approached $200 million in 2005 and 2006 when it was posting good returns and outperforming the Nasdaq Composite Index. Since then, both relative performance and asset levels have been on a downward trend. Today, PWO has less than $25 million and is now joining ETF Deathwatch.

Most of the products coming off the list due to improved health saw a sustained increase in their trading activity the past three months. Increasing assets under management is another way for products to gracefully exit the list, and five of the names escaping this month used that route. Death, closure and delisting is the non-graceful way of coming off the list, which happened to four ETNs in December.

The average age of products on Deathwatch increased from 40.5 to 41.4 months. The average asset size decreased from $6.7 million to $6.6 million, and 53 products have less than $2 million in assets. Eleven products had zero volume throughout the month of December, and 129 saw no action on the last day of the year.

Here is the Complete List of 312 Products on ETF Deathwatch for January 2014 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The nine ETPs added to ETF Deathwatch for January:

  1. Credit Suisse Commodity Rotation ETN (CSCR)
  2. db X-trackers Regulated Utilities Fund (UTLT)
  3. Direxion Daily Japan Bear 3x Shares (JPNS)
  4. First Trust Latin America AlphaDEX (FLN)
  5. Market Vectors Treasury-Hedged High Yield Bond (THHY)
  6. PowerShares Dynamic OTC (PWO)
  7. RBS China Trendpilot ETN (TCHI)
  8. SPDR S&P International Financial (IPF)
  9. VelocityShares Tail Risk Hedged Large Cap (TRSK)

The 12 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. ETRACS CMCI Energy TR ETN (UBN)
  2. ETRACS Monthly Pay 2x DJ Select Dividend ETN (DVYL)
  3. First Trust ISE Global Engineering & Construction (FLM)
  4. First Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX (FYC)
  5. Global X FTSE Argentina 20 (ARGT)
  6. Guggenheim Wilshire US REIT (WREI)
  7. iPath Pure Beta Broad Commodity ETN (BCM)
  8. iShares MSCI Finland Capped (EFNL)
  9. iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small-Cap (EWUS)
  10. iShares Target Date 2035 (TZO)
  11. PowerShares DB Crude Oil Short ETN (SZO)
  12. SPDR Barclays Short Term Treasury (SST)

The four ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to delisting:

  1. VelocityShares 2x Inverse Platinum ETN (IPLT)
  2. VelocityShares 2x Long Platinum ETN (LPLT)
  3. VelocityShares 3x Inverse Brent Crude ETN (DOIL)
  4. VelocityShares 3x Long Brent Crude ETN (UOIL)

Disclosure covering writer, editor and publisher: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.

Source: ETF Deathwatch For January 2014: PWO And IPF Join The List