Successful ETF Launches of First Quarter

Sanghamitra Saha

The U.S. ETF industry is now valued at $3.73 trillion, with about 2,302 funds from, per xtf.com. Though there is growing investor interest for exchange-traded products in this market, we have seen a lot of product closures lately.  

The pace of product rollouts also slackened a bit as there were 46 ETF launches in the first quarter, down from about 55 rollouts seen in the year-ago quarter (read: Top ETF Stories of First Quarter).

February witnessed the maximum launches of 28 funds. The impetus slowed substantially in March with just 6 launches. The severe coronavirus outbreak and the Wall Street’s slipping into the bear territory probably have kept the euphoria in check.

Year to date, total number of ETFs declined 2.25% while ETF assets have fallen 15.71%, as of Apr 6, 2020. Against this backdrop, we highlight below five ETFs that were launched in the first quarter and have amassed a decent asset base within days of hitting the market.

iShares ESG MSCI EM Leaders ETF LDEM — $488.0 million — Launched on Feb 5

The underlying MSCI EM Extended ESG Leaders 5% Issuer Capped Net Index comprises of emerging market large and mid-capitalization stocks of companies with high environmental, social, and governance performance relative to their sector peers. The fund charges 16 bps in fees (read: ESG ETFs Appear Unscathed by the Coronavirus Carnage).

FT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Deep Buffer ETF - February DFEB — $397.9 million — Launched on Feb 21

This ETF is active and does not track a benchmark. The prouct provides investors with returns up to a predetermined upside cap of 7.50% before fees, expenses and taxes and 6.65% after fees and expenses, while providing a buffer against losses between -5% and -30% before fees, expenses and taxes over the period from February 24, 2020 to February 19, 2021. The fund charges 85 bps in fees.

Day Hagan/Ned Davis Research Smart Sector ETF SSUS — $39.44 million — Launched on Jan 17

This ETF is active and does not track a benchmark. The fund looks to achieve its investment objective by principally investing in unaffiliated ETFs that track the performance of the individual sectors of the S&P 500 Index. It charges 78 bps in fees.

Direxion Flight to Safety Strategy ETF FLYT — $26.9 million — Launched on Feb 5

This ETF is active and does not track a benchmark. The underlying Direxion Flight to Safety Strategy ETF aims to deliver a simple, yet robust, approach to portfolio risk mitigation from equity market drawdowns while also providing long-term appreciation potential. The fund charges 40 bps in fees.

Absolute Core Strategy ETF ABEQ — $22.7 million — Launched on Jan 22

This ETF is active and does not track a benchmark. At the current level, the fund holds U.S. dollar (14.49% of the total weight), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (7.97%) and SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) (6.02%) as its top three holdings. The fund also holds several individual equities.   

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Day Hagan/Ned Davis Research Smart Sector ETF (SSUS): ETF Research Reports
 
FT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Deep Buffer ETF - February (DFEB): ETF Research Reports
 
Absolute Core Strategy ETF (ABEQ): ETF Research Reports
 
Direxion Flight to Safety Strategy ETF (FLYT): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares ESG MSCI EM Leaders ETF (LDEM): ETF Research Reports
 
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