Daily ETF Watch: Launches Near Record Level

2015 closes in on a record-breaking year.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

As of Dec. 3, 2015, 270 ETFs had launched on U.S. exchanges. That is far beyond the roughly 200 funds that rolled out in 2014, and sets 2015 up to be a record-breaking year. You have to go back nearly a decade to find a year that achieved a similar number of launches.

According to the 2015 Investment Company Factbook, the only year that is comparable is 2007, when 270 ETFs launched during the entire year. It should be noted that the Investment Company Institute figures only include 1940 Act ETFs, and not exchange-traded notes, fund-of-funds or other types of ETFs, so the actual number for 2007 is likely somewhat higher. However, given that there is still most of December left to the year, we will likely see more launches over the next few weeks.

International equity funds represent the largest percentage of those funds, with 115 ETFs, or nearly 43% of total year-to-date launches. U.S. equity funds are the next-largest group, with 68 ETFs, or roughly a quarter of 2015 launches. The smallest group is commodity ETFs, which represented less than 1% of the launches.

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.