New ETFs Veer From Vanilla

July 20, 2017

Todd Rosenbluth is director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA.

In early June, after traveling throughout the U.S., People magazine published a double-digit list of best new summer ice cream flavors from a variety of purveyors. Unfortunately, I have not independently taste-tested them.

However, some, such as Van Leeuwen’s Salted Caramel, sound like a new (better?) offering of a sweet and salty flavor many Americans have been enjoying for years. Meanwhile, Jeni’s Mango Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt might require dessert purists to be willing to explore before diving in.

CFRA thinks there were similarities to variations on existing themes in the broad suite of ETF launches last week: Some will sound similar to existing products, while others aim to break new ground.

More Flavors To Choose From

What’s clear is these are not just variations of plain vanilla.

According to Heather Bell, who tracks new products and fund filings for, 15 ETFs offered by nine providers began trading during the business week of July 10, including 10 on July 13 alone.

While a double-digit number of funds came out the weeks of June 19 and December 26, 2016, CFRA thinks these bursts were driven by the launch of a suite of products from First Trust and Elkhorn, respectively.

Examples of these ETF products include the First Trust Emerging Markets Equity Select (RNEM) and the Elkhorn S&P MidCap Utilities Portfolio (XU).

While CFRA’s holdings-focused ETF research does not yet rank RNEM and other First Trust ETFs that came out in June, XU and the other Elkhorn midcap sector offerings are part of the 1,000 plus ETFs we cover.

For investors who worry there are too many products to keep up with, yet alone give consideration to, CFRA Research and its regularly expanding research can help sort through the growing universe.

Below, we highlight a few more of these newborn July 2017 ETFs hoping to succeed in gathering momentum and assets.


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