Daily ETF Watch: HACK Gets A Competitor

First Trust is rolling out its answer to the PureFunds Cybersecurity ETF.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

One of the biggest surprise blockbusters of recent months will be getting a competitor today. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK | C-23) has gathered more than $1.2 billion in assets under management since its November 2014 launch, but a new fund from First Trust has a more recognizable brand name and a cheaper expense ratio.


The First Trust Nasdaq CEA Cybersecurity ETF (CIBR) has a similar focus to HACK, to be sure. The fund targets companies that develop cybersecurity technologies, deploy such technologies and focus on protecting important data. Meanwhile, HACK focuses on companies that develop and provide cybersecurity products and services.


HACK currently has 31 components versus 34 for CIBR’s underlying index. The PureFunds ETF has an annual expense ratio of 75 basis points, or $75 for each $10,000 invested, as opposed to 60 basis points for CIBR. Both cover companies from a similar range of countries around the world.


HACK is a first-to-market product that has seen phenomenal growth. But the odds are high that First Trust will be able to leverage its name and lower price point in order to establish a foothold—particularly in such a fast-growing and important pocket of the information technology revolution.


ALPS Debuts Put Write Fund
ALPS rolled out another put write strategy today. The ALPS Enhanced Put Write Strategy ETF (PUTX) sells put options on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY | A-99) and then invests the premium income in an investment grade debt portfolio that is actively managed, according to the prospectus.


The fund is designed to provide income when the S&P 500 is flat or rising, with that income providing some additional protection from the index’s downside risk.


ALPS already has the ALPS U.S. Equity High Volatility Put Write Index Fund (HVPW), which sells put options on the 20 most volatile U.S. stocks with market capitalizations above $5 billion. The fund launched in February 2013 and has approximately $60 million in assets under management.


Despite using a similar approach, the two funds are very different. For one thing, HVPW is entirely passive, while PUTX is a sort of passive/active hybrid.


PUTX comes with an expense ratio of 0.75 percent, much cheaper than the 0.95 percent charged by HVPW, despite the newer fund’s active component.


RBS Shutters ETN Family

The NYSE Arca signaled the suspension of the 13 RBS ETNs today. RBS had announced the closures in late June.


The 13 ETNs are as follows:

  • RBS Global Big Pharma ETN (DRGS)
  • RBS US Large Cap Alternator ETN (ALTL)
  • RBS China Trendpilot ETN (TCHI)
  • RBS Gold Trendpilot ETN (TBAR)
  • RBS Nasdaq-100 Trendpilot ETN (TNDQ)
  • RBS Oil Trendpilot ETN (TWTI)
  • RBS US Large Cap Trendpilot ETN (TRND)
  • RBS US MidCap Trendpilot ETN (TRNM)
  • RBS Rogers Enhanced Commodity Index ETN (RGRC)
  • RBS Rogers Enhanced Agriculture ETN (RGRA)
  • RBS Rogers Enhanced Energy ETN (RGRE)
  • RBS Rogers Enhanced Precious Metals ETN (RGRP)
  • RBS Rogers Enhanced Industrial Metals ETN (RGRI)


At the time of the announcement, the funds had a little more than $825 million in assets under management, with more than half of that invested in TRND.

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.