Bill Miller Jumps Into ETFs With a Pair of Active Funds

Bill Miller Jumps Into ETFs With a Pair of Active Funds

Legendary value investor seeks to replicate record of beating S&P 500.

Reviewed by: Shubham Saharan
Edited by: Shubham Saharan

Bill Miller is venturing into the fast-growing market for actively traded exchange-traded funds, seeking to replicate his successful string of years beating the S&P 500 while managing a Legg Mason mutual fund at the turn of the century. 

The legendary Wall Street trader’s firm Miller Value Partners recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the new exchange-traded funds, including the Miller Value Partners Appreciation ETF and the Miller Value Partners Leverage ETF.  

The Miller Value Partners Appreciation ETF will invest in securities the issuer “believes have an above-average probability of outperforming the S&P 500 Index (the “S&P 500”) over a multi-year time horizon.” The ETF’s portfolio will include 20 to- 0 stocks “without regard to market capitalization,” according to the fund’s prospectus.  

The Miller Value Partners Leverage ETF will “seek daily leveraged investment results that correspond to two times the performance of an underlying index, and swaps linked to the performance of the S&P 500 Index.”  

Miller became a giant in investing, and his stock picks were closely watched during a 15-year run from 1991 to 2005, beating the S&P 500 while at the helm of the Legg Mason Value Trust mutual fund. He left in 2011 after experiencing a few down years, and now is jumping into the fast-growing market for active ETFs. 

Active funds, which charge management fees well above those of passive funds that track indexes, pulled in $14.3 billion last month, for a year-to-date total of $24.9 billion, according to London-based ETFGI. That beat last year’s $22.3 billion year-to-date figure. 

The launches also come as actively managed funds have become a new favorite among ETF issuers.  

According to a recent Brown Brothers Harriman survey, 82% of 325 advisors, fund managers and institutional investors surveyed said they will boost or maintain their active ETF investments. In 2022, 92% of investors bought an active ETF, and nearly all of those were from either an index or active mutual fund, the survey found.  

Active fund managers’ records of beating broad indexes have been mixed. Last year, 51% large cap domestic equity active managers underperformed the S&P 500, better than the 85% that underperformed the year before, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.  

It remains to be seen if the favorable outcomes for active management will continue through 2023, but Allianz Chief Economist Mohamed El-Erian recently told Barrons in an interview that index strategies would work best going forward in the most liquid asset classes that aren’t subject to default. 

Both Miller ETFs have yet to be assigned expense ratios and tickers.  


Contact Shubham Saharanat[email protected]  

Shubham Saharan is a markets reporter at Before joining the company, she reported for Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Saharan is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University.