Odds & Ends: The 2023 ETF Market Heats Up

Odds & Ends: The 2023 ETF Market Heats Up

After a very slow start, this week was a rush of activity, including 21 launches.

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Reviewed by: Heather Bell
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Edited by: Heather Bell

It took almost a month for the ETF industry to heat up in 2023, but as January wound to a close and February got started, winter vacation came to an end. Twenty-one ETFs launched during the week, the same number that launched in all of January (although some of this week’s launches were also included in the January count). 

There were also a handful of closures and changes to existing funds announced or completed during the week.  

Launches 

Horizon Kinetics got things started with the launch of a pair of actively managed thematic ETFs on Monday. The Horizon Kinetics Medical ETF (MEDX) and the Horizon Kinetics SPAC Active ETF (SPAQ) both list on the Nasdaq stock market. While the former invests in equities and depositary receipts of companies involved in the medical industry, especially cancer research and drug development, the latter invests in precombination special purpose acquisition companies. Both funds have expense ratios of 0.85%.  

On Tuesday, Strive Asset Management launched another fund, the Strive Emerging Markets Ex-China ETF (STXE), which tracks an index covering 24 emerging markets, excluding China. Strive aims to advocate for maximizing profits at the companies its funds invest in through the exercising of voting rights rather than promoting environmental, social and governance agendas. STXE has an expense ratio of 0.32% and lists on the NYSE Arca.  

Wednesday saw the rollout of 11 funds. Among them were two more defined outcome products from AllianzIM. Both offer exposure to the performance of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) up to a performance cap while providing downside protection. The AllianzIM U.S. Large Cap Buffer10 Feb ETF (FEBT) allows for preexpenses upside of 19.79% with protection against a 10% decline from the reset date, while the AllianzIM U.S. Large Cap Buffer20 Feb ETF (FEBW) has a preexpenses upside cap of 13.24% and protects against a loss of 20%. Caps and buffers will both reset as of Feb. 1, 2024.

Both funds come with an expense ratio of 0.74% and list on the NYSE Arca.  

That same day also saw the launch of the ASYMmetric Smart Income ETF (MORE) and the ASYMmetric Smart Alpha S&P 500 ETF (ZSPY), which both track indexes. MORE will invest in income-generating equity—including utilities, MLPs and REITs—and fixed income securities, but the fund will switch assets to Treasuries should bear markets develop. Meanwhile, ZSPY will seek to provide twice the performance of the S&P 500 Index in a bull market but will shift to a market-neutral position when risk becomes heightened, moving into short positions once the index falls into a bear market.  

MORE comes with an expense ratio of 0.75%, while ZSPY charges 0.95%. Both list on the NYSE Arca. 

First Trust rolled out the First Trust Multi-Strategy Alternative ETF (LALT), a fund that uses an active management approach to invest in a wide range of alternative investments, including hedged equity, long/short, event-driven, managed futures, commodities, real estate, opportunistic fixed income, relative value, currencies and global macro. The ETF has an expense ratio of 1.23% and lists on the NYSE Arca.  

On Thursday, iShares debuted a pair of ESG funds, the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA Growth ETF (EGUS) and the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA Value ETF (EVUS). The iShares Aware ESG approach implements ESG screens and evaluations while aiming to maintain similar risk and return characteristics to the parent index, which, in the case of EVUS and EGUS, are the growth and value indexes of the MSCI USA Index. The funds both list on Cboe Global Markets and have expense ratios of 0.18%. 

Finally, on Friday, Cboe Vest added the Cboe Vest 10 Year Interest Rate Hedge ETF (RYSE), which is designed to rise and fall with the 10-year interest rate, while limiting losses to 15% in any given quarter and capping upside between 15% and 35%. It does this by investing mainly in interest rate swaps. The fund comes with an expense ratio of 0.85% and lists on Cboe Global Markets. 

Closures 

Closures reported during the week include the Amberwave Invest USA JSG Fund (IUSA), which shuttered on Jan. 13.  

The Defiance Digital Revolution ETF (NFTZ) is also closing, with its last day of trading scheduled for Feb. 28. The iShares iBonds Mar 2023 Term Corporate ex-Financials ETF (IBCE) and the iShares iBonds Mar 2023 Term Corporate ETF (IBDD), both target maturity bond ETFs, will cease to trade after the market close on March 30.  

Five IndexIQ ETFs saw their last day of trading on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Those funds are as follow: 

On Wednesday, the KFA Large Cap Quality Dividend Index ETF (KLCD) and the KFA Small Cap Quality Dividend Index ETF (KSCD) shuttered after the close of business. 

A new closure was announced on Friday. The Newday Sustainable Development Equity ETF (SDGS) will cease to trade after the market close on Feb. 21.  

Other Changes 

On Tuesday, the iShares 0-5 Year TIPS Bond ETF (STIP) changed its index from the Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) 0-5 Years Index to the ICE US Treasury 0-5 Year Inflation Linked Bond Index, while the iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP) changed its index from the Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Index to the ICE US Treasury Inflation Linked Bond Index. 

And on Thursday, three JPMorgan ETFs underwent some major changes.  

The JPMorgan U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (JAGG) changed its name to the JPMorgan BetaBuilders U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF and adopted the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index as its underlying benchmark. It also changed its ticker to BBAG.  

The JPMorgan Corporate Bond Research Enhanced ETF (JIGB) changed its name to the JPMorgan BetaBuilders USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF and adopted the Bloomberg U.S. Corporate Bond Index as its underlying benchmark. It changed its ticker to BBCB. 

The JPMorgan High Yield Research Enhanced ETF (JPHY) changed its name to the JPMorgan BetaBuilders USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF and adopted the ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Total Return Index as its underlying benchmark. It changed its ticker to BBHY.  

And as of April 3, the Global X SuperIncome Preferred ETF (SPFF) is set to change its index from the S&P Enhanced Yield North American Preferred Stock Index to the Global X U.S. High Yield Preferred Index. 

Expense Ratio Changes 

There were also expense ratio changes for a significant number of funds. On Jan. 27, the expense ratios for the Build Bond Innovation ETF (BFIX) and the AGF U.S. Market Neutral Anti-Beta Fund (BTAL) decreased from 0.50% to 0.48% and from 2.53% to 1.54%, respectively.  

On Jan. 30, two funds saw their expense ratios increase while four funds saw expense ratio decreases. The expense ratio for the Merlyn.AI SectorSurfer Momentum ETF (DUDE) decreased from 1.18% to 1.09%, while the expense ratio for the Merlyn.AI Bull-Rider Bear-Figther ETF (WIZ) decreased from 1.29% to 1.20%.  

The FundX ETF (XCOR) saw its expense ratio decrease from 1.63% to 1.39%, while the expense ratio for the FundX Aggressive ETF (XNAV) decreased from 1.52% to 1.41%. The Gotham 1000 Value ETF (GVLU) saw its expense ratio increase from 0.50% to 0.53%, and the expense ratio for the Alpha Dog ETF (RUFF) increased from 0.90% to 0.94%. 

Finally, on Jan. 31, there were expense ratio changes that became effective for eight funds. The expense ratios for the Alpha Architect International Quantitative Momentum ETF (IMOM) and the Alpha Architect International Quantitative Value ETF (IVAL) decreased from 0.60% to 0.49%, while the expense ratios for the Alpha Architect U.S. Quantitative Momentum ETF (QMOM) and the Alpha Architect U.S. Quantitative Value ETF (QVAL) decreased from 0.49% to 0.39%. The expense ratio for the Alpha Architect Value Momentum Trend ETF (VMOT) increased from 0.83% to 2.55%. 

The Leuthold Core ETF (LCR) saw its expense ratio decrease from 0.86% to 0.85%. Meanwhile, the expense ratio for the Dividend Performers ETF (IPDP) increased from 0.89% to 1.22%, and the expense ratio for the Preferred-Plus ETF (IPPP) increased from 0.90% to 1.06%. 

 

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.