Thoughts On Starting My Own ETF

by: Roger Nusbaum

A reader left what I took to be a very cynical comment:

What is your main goal in trying to bring an ETF to market? Altruism? Extra personal income? Both?

First, my use of the word trying in this context is that as matter of philosophy I take nothing in life for granted. There are a lot of steps to be completed and there is no fund until there is a fund as far as how I view things. Even in the ninth inning of game four of both Red Sox World Series wins last decade (they swept the Cardinals in 2004 and the Rockies in 2007), there was no joy of winning until they won.

Part of the equation is definitely expanding our business. There is some number of people who read my content in the various places it is published. If somehow they all wanted to hire us we would not be able to accommodate the interest. A lot of people have hung with the blog for many years and while they would never hire an investment manager, they might have some interest in participating anonymously through a fund. At the very least, that is part of the equation.

On a personal note I have been very fortunate in terms of the writing I do opening doors to some very fun things I would not have otherwise been able to do and meeting some interesting people I would have never otherwise been able to meet. I think this will be a very neat thing to do and if I thought otherwise there would be no fund.

As for any personal financial gain, an ETF needs a certain amount of assets to be viable and while I have unyielding faith in the viability of this fund, I take nothing for granted. Should it be successful it would simply be another income stream which is something I have written about many times.

As far as the crack about altruism, we are not doing this for free but I think seven years of blogging almost every day for more than seven years averaging a few hundred dollar/month in ad revenue might give me some credibility to say money is not my top priority in life. Ditto my involvement with the fire department except for the ad revenue and I've been doing that a little longer than I've been blogging. And if you were to ask me, I would tell you that a big part of my job description is to help clients protect and grow their assets. I also believe the writing helps some people who for whatever reason would never otherwise hire an investment manager.