ETF Deathwatch For January 2016: Count Grows To 386

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Includes: CFA, EWEM, HDLS, HEGE, HEGJ, HGEU, IBDO, IBDQ, IJNK, INTF, LRGF, PDBC, SMCP, SMDV, VQTS
by: Ron Rowland

Calendar year 2016 gets underway with 386 ETFs and ETNs on Deathwatch. The January list is 5.5% larger than December's 366 and is the result of 30 additions and 10 escapees. The overall count consists of 284 ETFs and 102 ETNs. I am considering revising the criteria for ETF Deathwatch due to the quantity of closures in 2015 that had asset levels above the current $25 million cutoff level. However, I will wait until the quantity hits a new high before making changes to avoid artificially creating a new high due to altered criteria. In case you are wondering, the peak was 403 in September 2012, the only time it registered more than 400.

I have been pointing out the rapid proliferation of currency-hedged funds over the past year. Their appearance on ETF Deathwatch is another sign that the segment is approaching saturation. The Direxion Daily MSCI Europe Currency-Hedged Bull 2x (NYSEARCA:HEGE), Direxion Daily MSCI Japan Currency-Hedged Bull 2x (NYSEARCA:HEGJ), ProShares Hedged FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEARCA:HGEU), and WisdomTree International Hedged SmallCap Dividend (NYSEARCA:HDLS) are four additions this month that are currency hedged.

Currency hedging isn't the only form of hedging evident among the new arrivals to ETF Deathwatch. The ETRACS S&P 500 VEQTOR Switch Index ETN (NYSEARCA:VQTS) tracks an index that employs a dynamic volatility hedge with VIX futures. "HFR" stands for hedge fund replication in the names of the three Highland ETFs joining the list this month. All three of them employ equity hedging via long/short portfolios.

The average asset level of products on ETF Deathwatch held steady at $6.9 million, and the quantity of products with less than $2 million jumped from 73 to 83. The average age increased from 48.2 to 48.8 months, and the number of products more than five years old increased from 130 to 137.

Here is the complete list of 386 ETFs and ETNs on ETF Deathwatch for January 2016 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch criteria.

The 30 ETFs and ETNs added to ETF Deathwatch for January:

  1. Barclays OFI SteelPath MLP ETN (NYSEARCA:OSMS)
  2. BLDRS Asia 50 ADR (NASDAQ:ADRA)
  3. Direxion Daily MSCI Europe Currency-Hedged Bull 2x (HEGE)
  4. Direxion Daily MSCI Japan Currency-Hedged Bull 2x (HEGJ)
  5. ETRACS S&P 500 VEQTOR Switch Index ETN (VQTS)
  6. Global X JPMorgan US Sector Rotator (NYSEARCA:SCTO)
  7. Global X Southeast Asia ETF (NYSEARCA:ASEA)
  8. Guggenheim China Real Estate (NYSEARCA:TAO)
  9. Guggenheim Wilshire Micro-Cap (NYSEARCA:WMCR)
  10. Highland HFR Equity Hedge ETF (NYSEARCA:HHDG)
  11. Highland HFR Event-Driven ETF (NYSEARCA:DRVN)
  12. Highland HFR Global ETF (NYSEARCA:HHFR)
  13. IQ Global Agribusiness Small Cap (NYSEARCA:CROP)
  14. iShares Convertible Bond ETF (BATS:ICVT)
  15. iShares MSCI Intl Developed Size Factor (NYSEARCA:ISZE)
  16. iShares MSCI Intl Developed Value Factor (NYSEARCA:IVLU)
  17. Market Vectors Global Spin-Off ETF (NYSEARCA:SPUN)
  18. PowerShares FTSE RAFI Asia Pacific ex-Japan (NYSEARCA:PAF)
  19. ProShares Hedged FTSE Europe ETF (HGEU)
  20. ProShares Ultra Homebuilders & Supplies (NYSEARCA:HBU)
  21. ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas Exploration & Production (NYSEARCA:UOP)
  22. ProShares UltraShort Homebuilders & Supplies (NYSEARCA:HBZ)
  23. ProShares UltraShort Oil & Gas Exploration & Production (NYSEARCA:SOP)
  24. ProShares UltraShort Utilities (NYSEARCA:SDP)
  25. SPDR S&P International Financial (NYSEARCA:IPF)
  26. Tortoise North American Pipeline Fund (NYSEARCA:TPYP)
  27. TrimTabs Intl Free-Cash Flow ETF (NYSEARCA:FCFI)
  28. ValueShares International Quantitative Value (BATS:IVAL)
  29. WisdomTree International Hedged SmallCap Dividend (HDLS)
  30. WisdomTree Western Asset Unconstrained Bond (NASDAQ:UBND)

The 10 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. AlphaMark Actively Managed Small Cap (NASDAQ:SMCP)
  2. Compass EMP U.S. 500 Volatility Weighted (NASDAQ:CFA)
  3. Guggenheim MSCI Emerging Markets Equal Country Weight (NYSEARCA:EWEM)
  4. iShares FactorSelect MSCI International (NYSEARCA:INTF)
  5. iShares FactorSelect MSCI USA (NYSEARCA:LRGF)
  6. iShares iBonds Dec 2023 Corporate (NYSEARCA:IBDO)
  7. iShares iBonds Dec 2025 Corporate (NYSEARCA:IBDQ)
  8. PowerShares DB Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy (NASDAQ:PDBC)
  9. ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers (NYSEARCA:SMDV)
  10. SPDR Barclays International High Yield Bond (NYSEARCA:IJNK)

The ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to delisting:

None

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Disclosure: Author has no positions in any of the securities mentioned and no positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) is received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.