‘ETF 20/20′ Industry Report – October 2015

Some of the highlights from our latest (October 2015) monthly ‘ETF 20/20’ Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) industry report:

• Assets for ETFs listed in the US fell by 2.2% in September 2015 to $1.987T. As of September 30, 2015 there were 1,788 ETPs listed in the US.

• With the US Fed keeping rates unchanged, investor sentiment in September was driven more by individual stock and sector developments, particularly by the concerns at Glencore, Volkswagen and in the biotech sector.

• Investors in the consumer discretionary sector SPDR (XLY) were up 4% this year through Q3; it was the only sector SPDR… see full post

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‘ETF 20/20′ – August 2015 Landscape report

Our August monthly ‘ETF 20/20’ report summarizes recent Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) trends in the US.

It uses data from the First Bridge global ETF database.

Assets for ETFs listed in the US grew by 1.3% in July 2015 to $2.146Tn. As of July month end, there were 1,764 ETPs listed in the US.

The VIX index was down 33% in July 2015 after spiking up in June. However OK WTI crude oil ended the month below $50/bbl. Gold (‘GLD’) declined by 6.6%.

Vanguard announced that it would start including China A-Shares in the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) in a phased manner. This is a significant development, since VWO is the largest Emerging Markets ETF in the US with $46B in assets as of July 31, 2015. The competing ‘EEM’ does not yet include A-Shares.

24 new ETPs were launched in the US in July 2014. O’Shares, Gavekal Capital and Principal Financial were new entrants.

Access the full report:


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‘ETF 20/20′ – June 2015 ETF Landscape report

Our June 2015 ETF report for the US looks at:
• 16 new launches including an innovative product that replicates exposure to spot VIX.
• Index benchmark switches for 10 Invesco PowerShares ETFs.
• The best & worst performing ETF categories and strategies.

The full report is available here:


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Frequently requested ETF list categories

At First Bridge, we publish a complete list of all US ETFs for free, which is a small subset of our global ETF database used by institutional clients.

However we sometimes receive ad-hoc requests for ETF lists in specific categories that are not always easily available on traditional ETF screeners. So we compiled a list of US listed ETFs in those categories for which we receive requests frequently:

List of Low Volatility, High Beta & VIX Based ETFs

List of Currency Hedged ETFs

List of Dividend ETFs

List of Active ETFs

List of ETNs (Exchange Traded Notes)

List of Non-USD Denominated Bond ETFs

List of High Yield… see full post

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Green Investing ETFs

Investors are increasingly looking for easy, low cost access to themes such as green investing. Below is a list of ETFs in the US that provide exposure to the green investing theme. A complete article that we published on green investing ETFs is available on Nasdaq’s site.

Source: First Bridge Data; Data as of April 29, 2015




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New ETF Launches by Exposure (’15 YTD)

As of April 14, 2015, 65 new ETFs had been launched in the US. The table below categorizes these new ETF launches by type of exposure. A complete list of all ETFs in the US can be accessed here: http://firstbridgedata.com/etfproductlist


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Low Volatility Beats Pure Value As a Defensive Strategy

It is well understood that the relative performance of equity strategies will vary depending on the performance of the broad market.  In this blog post, we briefly examine how key equity strategies have performed over the last 10 years. This time period includes a complete market cycle, including the 2008 bear market and subsequent rebound. We see some interesting results:

The S&P 500 Low Volatility Index was the only one of the 5 strategies we examined that beat the S&P 500 and also had lower volatility over the entire measurement period. Equal weighting, pure growth & pure value all beat… see full post

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Comparison of Share Buyback ETFs

Significant buyback programs from large cap firms like Apple (AAPL), Home Depot (HD) and Boeing (BA) in the last 12 months have put stock buybacks in the spotlight. The table below summarizes the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that provide access to this strategy.

(Note: Our free monthly ‘ETF 20/20′ landscape report can be accessed on our home page.)

Table: Comparison of Buyback ETFs

Data Source: First Bridge Data analysis based on ETF sponsor websites; As of Mar 17, 2015

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‘ETF 20/20′ – March 2015 ETF Industry Report

The March edition of our ‘ETF 20/20′ landscape report summarizes recent ETF developments.

- Assets for US listed ETFs went up to $2.094T.

- The CAPE (or Shiller P/E) ratio ended February 2015 at 27.81, well above its historical median value.

- The Wisdom Tree Europe Hedged ETF (HEDJ) took in over $5Bn in inflows in 2015 YTD, far outpacing unhedged Europe equity ETFs.

- State Street (SPDR) announced expense ratio fee cuts on 41 ETFs in the US in response to Vangurd’s asset gathering success and the iShares core initiative.

- 22 ETFs were launched in the US in 2015.

The full report can… see full post

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Recent Smart Beta ETF Launches by Category

One of the defining trends of ETF based investing has been the growth in ‘smart beta’ ETFs. Though we don’t like the term (others sometimes refer to it as ‘strategic beta’), this category of ETFs has rapidly grown in adoption.

In April 2014, in a guest post for S&P Dow Jones, we defined ‘smart beta’ and estimated the smart beta ETF space for US equity exposure to be ~ $75B, i.e. about 9% of the total ETF assets for domestic US equities at the time.

Since then, smart beta ETF launches have outnumbered both traditional beta and active ETFs launches in… see full post

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