BEST THEMATIC ETF
WINNER: Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health ETF (EDOC)
When it comes to thematic ETFs, a compelling story goes a long way in helping a fund succeed. But that’s not always enough. Often, a good narrative also needs perfect timing for a theme to hit a nerve.
In 2020, thematic ETF investing generally hit a stride as different themes across regions, sectors and industries suddenly became universal as the world battled a single global pandemic. Among those themes, disruption in health care was especially compelling and timely in the face of a deadly virus.
The Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health ETF (EDOC) delivered like no other on both the compelling narrative and the timing. The fund, launched in July 2020, captured this rare confluence of events we saw last year—a shared, unifying global health challenge that affected everyone everywhere, and an acceleration of disruptive health care solutions that rose to that challenge.
EDOC invests in companies globally that are directly linked to all aspects of what’s next in health care, from analytics, to connectivity, to digitization, to services and administration. With the help of an algorithm that spots companies that best deliver on this theme, as well as a revenue screen that looks for those that derive most of their revenue from telemedicine-related businesses, EDOC is a portfolio of about 40 securities tied to the future of health care.
It’s not surprising that this pure-play effort from Global X is also one of the most successful ETF launches of 2020, growing to more than $800 million in AUM less than eight months since launch.
BEST NEW ETF TICKER
WINNER: SoFi Weekly Income ETF (TGIF)
The Best New Ticker award is always a tough one. ETF issuers can be a creative bunch, so the competition for this prize is always quite strong. That held true in 2020 as well, with the winner TGIF facing some pretty entertaining opposition.
Runners-up included NIFE, WFH, BETZ and SPAK (in no particular order). But the awards committee went with TGIF—and who could blame them?
It’s a feel-good ticker in a year in which there wasn’t much to feel good about. And the ticker suits the ETF’s strategy perfectly as well. This is an actively managed ETF that provides income on a weekly basis—every Friday, in case you were wondering.
It invests in investment-grade and junk-rated fixed income securities, while targeting a portfolio duration of less than three years.
For the spiffy ticker and weekly payouts, investors have to accept a bit of a premium price tag. TGIF’s expense ratio is 0.59%, which is on the higher end for this type of exposure. Currently, the fund has roughly $18 million in assets under management.