ETF Watch: Equities Dominate Launches

International and U.S. equities have been the most popular categories for launches year-to-date.
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

Through the end of July, there were 139 ETF launches in 2016, compared with 160 launches during the same time period in 2015. Both years, international equity saw the largest portion of launches, at 40% of the total.

However, U.S. equity ETF launches are up this year, hitting 30% versus 22% in 2015. U.S. fixed-income launches have declined, however, falling from 11% in 2015 to 6% this year. International fixed-income launches are up 1% from the prior year, to 5% of the total.

In the smaller categories, notable changes include the commodity space, which doubled its percentage of launches from 1% last year to 2% this year. Inverse funds are flat, at 6% of launches, while leveraged funds fell from 11% in 2015 to 4% in 2016. Asset allocation ETFs are flat with last year, at 2% of launches.

If you look a few years back to July 2013, equities were still the dominant category for launches, but fixed income played a greater role. U.S. fixed income was 17% of launches for the first seven months of the year, and international fixed income was 10%.

Back then, commodities represented 5% of launches, and although not a single currency ETF has launched in the past two years, 2% of the launches year-to-date in 2013 were currency funds. Asset allocation ETFs also saw no launches in the first seven months of 2013.

It should be noted that there were only 86 funds that launched during the year-to-date time period in 2013.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected]. is the single source for ETF intelligence. We provide real-time ETF news and analysis to educate investors and drive financial knowledge in the space. Our personalized and accurate information, alongside industry-leading financial tools, are depended upon to develop winning investment and financial decisions. At, we strive to serve both the individual investor as well as the professional financial advisor to educate and grow the ETF community.