Ron Rowland: Fifteen launches in February make it forty new ETFs so far in 2014. If the remainder of the year can maintain the pace of the first two months, it could see the highest launch activity of the past three years. However, launch activity is never consistent or predictable, so we will have to wait to see how the year eventually turns out.
One thing appears probable though, 2014 will likely establish a record for actively managed ETF introductions. Six of February’s new ETFs fit the actively managed definition, bringing the year-to-date count to fourteen. With ten months remaining in 2014, the previous record of twenty actively managed launches (occurring in both 2012 and 2013) is in jeopardy. In percentage terms, 35% of this year’s launch activity has been actively managed ETFs, and the quantity of actively managed ETFs has jumped from 71 to 85, for a 19.7% increase in just two months.
Actively managed ETFs are still an extremely small portion of the industry. These 85 funds represent 5.4% of the 1,586 ETPs currently listed for trading, but their combined assets of $15.2 billion equates to only 0.9% of the entire pie.
Like January, none of the launches in February were ETNs. The fifteen launches and four closures produced a net increase of eleven ETFs. The month-end count stood at 1,568 (1,366 ETFs and 202 ETNs). Assets increased by 4.9% to a new record high of $1.73 trillion. There are now 226 products with more than $1 billion, and they account for 88.7% of all ETP assets.
February had only 19 trading days, so it was not surprising to see trading activity diminish. Total monthly dollar volume dropped 2.3% to $1.4 trillion. The number of products averaging more than $1 billion in trading per day increased from eight to ten and grabbed 55.7% of all the action.
|February 2014 Month End||ETFs||ETNs||Total|
|Currently Listed U.S.||1,366||202||1,568|
|Listed as of 12/31/2013||1,332||204||1,536|
|New Introductions for Month||15||0||15|
|Delistings/Closures for Month||4||0||4|
|Net Change for Month||+11||0||+11|
|New Introductions 6 Months||92||7||99|
|New Introductions YTD||40||0||40|
|Net Change YTD||+34||-2||+32|
|Actively-Managed Listings||85 (+6)||n/a||85 (+6)|
|Assets Under Mgmt ($ billion)||$1,704||$24.7||$1,729|
|% Change in Assets for Month||+4.9%||+5.7%||+4.9%|
|Qty AUM > $10 Billion||39||0||39|
|Qty AUM > $1 Billion||219||7||226|
|Qty AUM > $100 Million||683||33||716|
|% with AUM > $100 Million||50.0%||16.3%||45.7%|
|Monthly $ Volume ($ billion)||$1,369||$54.4||$1,423|
|% Change in Monthly $ Volume||-2.7%||+9.9%||-2.3%|
|Avg Daily $ Volume > $1 Billion||9||1||10|
|Avg Daily $ Volume > $100 Million||84||3||87|
|Avg Daily $ Volume > $10 Million||287||10||297|
Data sources: Daily prices and volume of individual ETPs from Norgate Premium Data. Fund counts and all other information compiled by Invest With An Edge.
New products launched in February (sorted by launch date):
- iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF (HEFA), launched 2/4/14, uses a fund-of-funds approach to provide local currency performance of stocks in EAFE countries by investing in iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) and hedging against currency fluctuations to the U.S. dollar. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.39% (HEFA overview).
- iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF (HEWG), launched 2/4/14, uses a fund-of-funds approach to replicate the local performance of German stocks by holding iShares MSCI Germany ETF (EWG) and hedging against currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and euro. Investors will pay 0.53% to own this fund (HEWG overview).
- iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Japan ETF (HEWJ), launched 2/4/14, uses a fund-of-funds approach to replicate the local performance of Japanese stocks by holding iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) and hedging against currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen. The fund’s total expense ratio is 0.48% (HEWJ overview).
- iShares Treasury Floating Rate Bond ETF (TFLO), launched 2/4/14, will provide exposure to U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes (FRNs). The U.S. Treasury began issuing FRNs in January 2014, and they are issued for a term of two years. They pay interest quarterly in varying amounts, based on discount rates in auctions of 13-week Treasury bills. The fund’s underlying index is from Barclays, and the average yield to maturity is 0.13%. Fees will be waived (0.0%) through 2/28/15 and are then expected to be 0.15% (TFLO overview).
- WisdomTree Bloomberg Floating Rate Treasury Fund (USFR), launched 2/4/14, also seeks to provide exposure to the newly introduced U.S. Treasury Floating Rate Notes (FRNs), whose interest will be tied to 13-week Treasury bill auction rates. This fund will use an index run by Bloomberg and lists a 0.0% average yield to maturity. The fund’s expense ratio is 0.15% (USFR overview).
- iShares 2019 AMT-Free Muni Term ETF (MUAH), launched 2/6/14, will invest in U.S. municipal bonds that mature in 2019. The average yield to maturity is 1.23%, and the fund has an expense ratio of 0.30% (MUAH overview).
- AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/British Pound ETF (GGBP), launched 2/12/14, is an actively managed ETF investing in the gold market using the British pound instead of the U.S. dollar and is managed by Treesdale Partners. The pound is obtained through the sale of either exchange-traded currency futures or foreign exchange forward contracts. The fund sports an expense ratio of 0.65% (GGBP overview).
- AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Euro ETF (GEUR), launched 2/12/14, is an actively managed ETF that invests in gold using the euro instead of the U.S. dollar and is managed by Treesdale Partners. Euros are obtained through the sale of either exchange-traded currency futures or foreign exchange forward contracts. The fund’s expense ratio is 0.65% (GEUR overview).