Daily ETF Watch: 2016 Launches Lag 2015

Launches are down by a significant margin year-over-year.

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Reviewed by: Heather Bell
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Edited by: Heather Bell

On the heels of a banner year for ETF launches in 2015, this year is eating dust. Year-to-date, we’ve seen the launch of 33 ETFs, a sharp 20-fund decrease from the 53 launches that had occurred last year by March 15.

But consider that last year at this time we were still in the throes of the currency-hedged and multifactor fund frenzies, which have since slowed a bit. Pretty much all of the multifactor fund families have been rolled out, and right now the currency-hedged space seems to be taking a bit of a breather in the wake of the latest innovation: dynamically hedged ETFs. Presumably, issuers are watching to see how those products are received.

Further, assets invested in U.S. ETFs are up less than 3% from last year despite the large number of fund launches in 2015. Total U.S. ETF assets added about $60 billion over the last 12 months to reach a total of $2.13 trillion.

If the early weeks of the year are any indication, it looks like the ETF industry could take a pause in 2016.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].

Heather Bell is a former managing editor of etf.com. She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.