Daily ETF Watch: Making The $100M Club

Investors have flocked to these three ETFs.

Reviewed by: Hung Tran
Edited by: Hung Tran

Investors have flocked to these three ETFs.

Filings and launches are on the light side this morning, so we thought it would be opportune to take a step back and highlight three notable ETF launches within the past six months that have made significant inroads in the fast-growing ETF universe.

Year-to-date, 71 new ETFs have launched in the world of U.S.-listed ETFs, of which there are currently 1,580. Total assets now amount to more than $1.756 trillion, according to data compiled by ETF.com Analytics.

But three ETFs have had especially successful launches to date, nearing or surpassing that all-important $100 million asset-gathering hump whereby institutional investors begin to take notice. These ETFs cover both familiar and esoteric investment themes; namely, momentum; mainland China equities; and the fast-developing robotics industry.

Price Momentum

Riding a popularity surge in momentum-based ETFs, the newly launched First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF (FV) launched on March 6 and tracks an index of U.S. and global ETFs issued by First Trust.

The index selects five ETFs, all from First Trust based on relative price momentum, and weights the constituent ETFs equally. FV currently has exposure to Internet, biotech, health care, consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks and, not surprisingly, is down some 9 percent since inception, a victim of the massive sell-off in momentum stocks in late March.


But that hasn’t stopped investors from taking the plunge. FV has gathered $183 million since launching on March 6, according to data compiled by ETF.com Analytics.

Mainland China

The db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (ASHR), double-crowned by ETF.com as last year’s Most Groundbreaking New ETF and Best New International/Global Equity ETF winner, is the first-to-market ETF to hold coveted physical China A-shares. Those stocks, listed in either Shanghai or Shenzhen, canvass mainland Chinese companies.


The fund, which holds A-shares via its subadvisor, Harvest Global Investments, has spawned other “me-too” A-shares-focused ETFs, as well as broader funds focused on offshore as well as onshore-listed Chinese securities.

ASHR launched on Nov. 6, 2013 with quite a bit of fanfare and more than $100 million in seed capital, suggesting large institutional backing. Year-to-date, the fund’s price is down more than 11 percent as China’s slowing growth has been a major drag on China-focused and non-China-focused ETFs alike.

But investors seem to be taking a longer-term, strategic view on China and ASHR, and have injected $60.8 million into the fund since inception, according to data compiled by ETF.com Analytics.


Ever wanted to invest in the world of robotics? Well, there’s an ETF for that. The Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO | F-18) launched last October and tracks a global index of companies involved in robotics and automation.

ROBO is the brainchild of co-founder Frank Tobe, who expressed his frustration during an interview with ETF.com about not being able to access a basket of robotics stocks via his brokers.

While not a pure-play robotics ETF (60 percent of the fund is invested in robotics-related business segments), the fund has attracted more than $97 million in assets since Oct. 22, 2013, according to data compiled by ETF.com Analytics.


Hung Tran is a former staff writer for etf.com.