Daily ETF Watch: January Launches Flat

No change in the number of YTD launches year-over-year.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

We just tore the first month of the year off the calendar a few days ago, and one could say things have started off with a bang, with a baker’s dozen of funds making their debut. It’s not that 13 funds launching in January is a record, but last year saw an impressive 284 funds roll out. And it just so happens that 13 funds launched in the first month of 2015 as well.

Could we be in for another banner year in the ETF industry?

In 2015, the January launches were somewhat prophetic. Seven of the ETFs were factor-based smart-beta ETFs, which turned out to be a strong theme throughout the year. This year, seven of the funds launching in January offer a new twist in currency hedging: WisdomTree and iShares both rolled out families of ETFs that, rather than being 100% hedged all the time, adjust their level of currency hedging in response to market conditions.

Another four funds are focused on dividends, including the three offerings from newcomer Reality Shares and ProShares’ latest addition to its “Dividend Growers” family. Finally, the remaining two ETFs to launch during the month are niche ETFs: an “Innovative Technology” fund from State Street Global Advisors and a generic pharmaceuticals fund from Van Eck’s Market Vectors arm.

It will be interesting to see if any of these themes for January are indicators of what is to come in the year ahead. You can see the full list of new funds for 2016 on the ETF Watch launches page.

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.