January was a pretty busy month for ETF launches, with 40 new funds rolling out. February was no slacker either, with 22 ETFs making their debuts. Consider that we have seen more launches so far this year than trading days.
The blistering pace of launches can really be chalked up to rollouts of “families” of products. Barclays’ iPath arm rolled out 15 ETNs that were mostly replacing existing products. Vanguard took an unexpected angle when it unveiled six actively managed factor ETFs, as did Direxion by launching six “lightly leveraged” funds designed for long-term investment.
ETF.com’s launch tables go back to 2012, and only that year saw more launches in its first two months. In 2012, 71 ETFs launched during January and February.
With many commenting on the large number of choices available to investors in the ETF space, expectations have been more tilted toward a slowdown in launches rather than an acceleration. However, given the record levels of inflows for 2017 that were closing in on $500 billion, the industry probably has more room to grow than previously thought.
Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]