Welcome back to the SA ETF Update. My goal is to keep Seeking Alpha readers up to date on the ETF universe and to gain some visibility, both for the ETF community, and for me as its editor (so users know who to approach with issues, article ideas, to become a contributor, etc.)
Every weekend, or every other weekend (depending on the reader response and submission volumes), we will highlight fund launches and closures for the week, as well as any news items that could impact ETF investors.
Recently, Zacks published a piece on the funds that launched in 2015 and gained in assets under management right away. They were the SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (NYSEARCA:TOTL), the SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF (NYSEARCA:NANR), the iShares Exponential Technologies ETF (NYSEARCA:XT), the Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Emerging Markets Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:GEM) and the SPDR Russell 1000 Momentum Focus ETF (NYSEARCA:ONEO). While all of these funds saw strong support from investors, none ended the year with positive returns. Overall, markets took a turn for the worse in end of Q3 and beginning of Q4 and had to spend the rest of the year climbing out of that hole (most sectors are still stuck).
There were 23 launches in December and no closures for the month.
December Total Launches
|SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free ETF||SPYX|
|MomentumShares U.S. Quantitative Momentum ETF||QMOM|
|SPDR Russell 1000 Momentum Focus ETF||ONEO|
|SPDR Russell 1000 Low Volatility Focus ETF||ONEV|
|SPDR Russell 1000 Yield Focus ETF||ONEY|
|Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 1X Shares||LABS|
|Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3X Shares||GASX|
|Daily Healthcare Bear 3x Shares||SICK|
|Tierra XP Latin America Real Estate ETF||LARE|
|Elkhorn FTSE RAFI U.S. Equity Income ETF||ELKU|
|iShares FactorSelect MSCI Emerging ETF||EMGF|
|Pacer Trendpilot European Index ETF||PTEU|
|Pacer Autopilot Hedged European Index ETF||PAEU|
|Guggenheim Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF||DJD|
|SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF||NANR|
|JPMorgan Diversified Return Europe Equity ETF||JPEU|
|WisdomTree Dynamic Long/Short U.S. Equity Fund||DYLS|
|WisdomTree Dynamic Bearish U.S. Equity Fund||DYB|
|MomentumShares International Quantitative Momentum ETF||IMOM|
|Legg Mason Developed ex-US Diversified Core ETF||DDBI|
|Legg Mason Emerging Market Diversified Core ETF||EDBI|
|Legg Mason US Diversified Core ETF||UDBI|
|Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF||LVHD|
Only a couple of these funds ended December with positive returns; it was a hard month to jump into the market. Hopefully, our rocky start to 2016 doesn't set any trends in motion, otherwise these new launches from the last two weeks could have a hard time finding traction.
There were 12 funds launched in the last 2 weeks, including the last 4 funds on the December launch list above. With tons to cover, let's jump right in.
Fund launches for the week of December 28th, 2015
- Legg Mason joins the ETF party (12/29): The last week of December saw the launch of 4 ETFs by veteran asset manager Legg Mason (NYSE:LM). The launch marks LM's first foray into the ETF space. Included in the launch are two ex-U.S. funds: The Legg Mason Developed ex-US Diversified Core ETF and the Legg Mason Emerging Market Diversified Core ETF, charging 0.40% and 0.50%, respectively. Also included in the launch are two U.S. equity funds charging 0.30% apiece: The Legg Mason US Diversified Core ETF and the Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF. The funds seek to track proprietary indexes developed by LM affiliate QS Investor with a focus on "reducing concentration risk compared to cap-weighted investment products."
Fund launches for the week of January 4th, 2016
- Reality Shares launches its second ETF (1/6): The Realty Shares DIVCON Leaders Dividend ETF (BATS:LEAD) was launched just over a year after the company's first offering, the Realty Shares DIVS ETF. "Unlike many dividend funds based on decades-old dividend history or yield, the new passive ETF features rules-based stock selection and weighting using a proprietary dividend health rating methodology, DIVCON, which systematically ranks companies' future dividend growth prospects based on a weighted average of seven factors," according to a press release on Reality Shares' site.
- WisdomTree rolls out 4 new Dynamic Currency ETFs (1/7): The following newly issued funds offer currency hedged exposure to international equities, each indicated in their names, and weighted by dividend yield: The WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International Equity Fund (BATS:DDWM), the WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International SmallCap Equity Fund (BATS:DDLS), the WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Europe Equity Fund (BATS:DDEZ) and the WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Japan Equity Fund (BATS:DDJP).
- iShares launches 3 Adaptive Currency Hedged ETFs (1/7): The iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI Japan ETF (BATS:DEWJ), the iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI Eurozone ETF (BATS:DEZU) and the iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF (BATS:DEFA) are new additions to the iShares lineup. Like the WisdomTree funds launched on the same day, these funds offer currency hedged exposure to international equities, but weighted by market capitalization rather than dividend yield. All 7 of these funds were launched on the BATS exchange.
There were no fund closures for the weeks of December 28th, 2015 or January 4th, 2016
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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.