ETF Odds & Ends: Innovator Adds Laddered Fund

ETF Odds & Ends: Innovator Adds Laddered Fund

Plus, a look at other ETF launches, closures and changes.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell & Dan Mika
Edited by: Heather Bell & Dan Mika

With 12 funds launching during the week ended Feb. 11, the pace of launches is even faster than it was at this time last year.

Most notably, the Innovator Laddered Allocation Buffer ETF (BUFB) debuted on the Cboe Global Markets on Wednesday with an initial expense ratio of 0.89%. A waiver of 10 basis points is in effect until the end of June 2024.

BUFB follows an equal-weight index of 12 other buffered ETFs from Innovator with the aim of matching the return of the S&P 500 over the course of a 12-month time period using a laddered strategy. The strategy caps gains from the fund if the S&P 500 outperforms in exchange for downside protection.

Also during the week, the XTrackers Risk Managed USD High Yield Strategy ETF (HYRM) debuted on the NYSE Arca on Thursday with an initial expense ratio of 0.30%. A 15 basis point waiver is in effect until November 14, 2024.

In normal economic conditions, HYRM follows a broad index of high-yield debt. But if the Cboe Volatility Index surpasses two standard deviations beyond its historical average or if a measure of 12-day price averages versus 26-day price averages suggests stocks are falling faster than the historical average, the fund moves its assets into a cash position.

There were also some new products from smaller issuers. First-time issuer Build Asset Management made its debut on the ETF market with the Build Bond Innovation ETF (BFIX) on the NYSE Arca on Thursday, charging an expense ratio of 0.50%.

BFIX is actively managed, holding ETFs tracking moderate-duration, investment-grade bonds and call options on the S&P 500 or an ETF following that index.

Build Asset Management is based in Jefferson City, Missouri and has $78 million in assets under management.

Faith Investor Services launched its second ETF with the FIS Biblically Responsible Risk Managed ETF (PRAY) on the NYSE Arca Tuesday. The fund charges an expense ratio of 0.68%.

PRAY is an actively managed fund that aims to pick U.S. and international stocks to balance long-term capital and income, while selling positions in stocks that are in the midst of large price swings, underperforming to peers or are deemed risky due to economic factors.

The fund managers do not invest in companies deemed to be in violation of “Christian values” and use hard screens against companies producing alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling equipment or controversial weapons.


The steady rate of closures is continuing, with two LifeGoal funds completing their shutdowns during the week and the announcement of the closures of another fund.

The LifeGoal Children Investment ETF (CHLD) and the LifeGoal Vacation Investment ETF (SUNY) saw their last day of trading on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Both funds rolled out in September 2021. The shutdowns bring the number of completed closures in 2022 to 10.

Meanwhile, the Siren Large Cap Blend Index ETF (SPQQ), which launched in July 2020, is set to see its last day of trading sometime after March 11. It currently has less than $1 million in assets under management and is the smallest of the four funds offered under the Siren brand.

Changes To Existing ETFs

The most notable change to take effect during the week was when the Amplify International Online Retail ETF (XBUY) switched gears and became the Amplify Emerging Markets FinTech ETF trading under the ticker EMFQ. It also changed its index from the EQM International Ecommerce Index to the EQM Emerging Markets Fintech Index. The fund launched in early 2019.

Another similar fund renovation was also announced for the WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Fund (DRW). Effective April 20, the fund will change its name to the WisdomTree New Economy Real Estate Fund and adopt the ticker WTRE. Its index will change from the WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index to the CenterSquare New Economy Real Estate Index.

There were two other name changes during the week. The Gavekal Asia Pacific Government Bond ETF (AGOV) switched its name to the ETC Gavekal Asia Pacific Government Bond ETF, and the Fidelity Sustainable U.S. Equity ETF (FSST) changed its name to the Fidelity Sustainable U.S. Equity ETF.

For additional information about ETF launches, closures and changes, visit the ETF Watch page.


Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]