Falling ETF Dividend Yields: June 2014

One of the natural consequences of rising NAV’s for US equity ETFs over the last 5 years is the fall in dividend yields. The chart below shows 4 widely used dividend oriented US equity ETFs. It allows a quick comparison between the yields of these ETFs as well as the change in yields over the last 18 months.

The data is from the First Bridge historical ETF dividends database.

In this yield calculation, the numerator is the sum of dividend payments (income) over the trailing 12 months from the ‘as of’ date’. Capital gains and return of capital is not included… see full post

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Global ETF Sponsor Market Share

The global ETP industry ended April 2014 with assets of $2.5T. The growth in the space over the last several years has continued to attract new entrants as well as product launches from existing players.
There are now a little over 225 ETF sponsors globally. The table below shows the global market share numbers (as of end April 2014) for the top 15 ETF sponsors. The data is sourced from the First Bridge ETF database that includes all globally listed ETPs.

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The Decline in ETN Issuance

The continued growth in the US Exchange Traded Product (ETP) space has over-shadowed an interesting development – the decline in ETN (Exchange Traded Note) issuance. The chart below shows the number of ETNs issued in the US by calendar year, including those that subsequently closed.

We see some interesting trends:

The first half of 2008 was clearly the first boom period, with 53 ETN launches. However, every one of those was launched in the 1st half of the year.  With an ETN, the investor is taking on the credit risk of the issuing bank and so the peaking of the financial… see full post

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The interesting case of Russian (RSX) ETF flows

Is Russia now a buying opportunity or a value trap? An analysis of fund flows for RSX, the largest Russia ETF, shows some interesting results. RSX was down 17% during Q1 ‘14, yet assets in RSX grew by 15% during the quarter.

We used the First Bridge ETF data set to analyze this further and we see the following trend in daily ETF new flows. Net flows refer to new creations or redemptions in the ETF i.e.

Daily Net Flows = Daily Change in ETF Assets – Daily Change due to market movements

As we can see, after the first trading day… see full post

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Ukraine Crisis: Implications for ETF Investors

This article was co-authored with John Lunt, the President of Lunt Capital, a Salt Lake City based asset management firm. His experience in Ukraine goes back 20 years through his teaching engagements, board membership and personal travel.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is acknowledged as the most significant geo-political event in the last 10 years. In this article we examine the possible implications of these events for investors, with a specific focus on ETFs and index-based portfolios since that is our area of expertise.

Investors may have exposure to Russia in 3 ways that can impact their portfolios.

a)     ‘Direct’ exposure e.g…. see full post

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New article on smart beta ETFs

The area of smart beta ETFs has been getting a lot of attention. In a recent article on Seeking Alpha I sized this market for domestic equity exposure. I also made the argument that expecting smart beta to always outperform traditional market cap weighted ETFs is unreasonable, and that risk factors such as size, value and volatility go through cycles of under and out-performance. The full Seeking Alpha article can be accessed here.

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US ETF Asset Totals – Feb 2014

US ETFs grew to a record $1,727B as of February 28, 2014, an increase of 5.1% over the corresponding end January total. First Bridge Data released a breakdown of these assets by type of exposure / strategy, which showed that aggregate ETF assets increased for all the major asset classes, with the exception of currency ETPs. 15 new ETPs were launched in the US in February 2014, taking the net total number of ETPs in the US to 1568.

A summary of the asset totals can be accessed here.


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Municipal Bond ETF Landscape report

Municipal bonds is one of several asset classes that have become easier and cheaper to access through ETFs. There are currently 34 ETFs in the US that provide access to this asset class. In our landscape report published today, we take a brief look at the Muni ETF Landscape in the US.

The report can be accessed on our home page.

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Top 20 Indices by ETF Assets (US)

As of end January 2014, 99% of the $1.643T in Exchange Traded Product (ETP) assets in the US were linked either to a financial index or a commodity / currency.

So which indices account for the largest share of US ETP assets? In the table below we show the top 20 Indices by ETP assets. A couple of notes before we look at the table:

1) We have defined each index in a ‘pure’ sense i.e. we have not grouped all the variations of each index when counting assets. For example, variations on the S&P 500 Index such as the Equal… see full post

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ETF Product Launches in 2014 YTD (US)

35 new ETFs have been launched in the US in 2014 YTD (through Feb 14, 2014). The table below summarizes the new launches.

A full ETF product list is available here

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