Best New U.S. Equity ETF
Awarded to the most important U.S. equity ETF launched in 2015.
Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognize an ETF that opens new areas of the market, lowers costs, drives risk-adjusted performance or provides innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after Jan. 1, 2015, are eligible. The ETF must be classified by FactSet as a U.S. equity ETF to qualify.
· ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO)
Biotech investors know that the biotech industry is really three industries in one: large, established firms with billions in revenue; startups with nothing but a dream; and midsize firms looking to get their first drugs through the FDA. SBIO focuses on the last group, highlighting midcap companies with drugs in Phase II-III trials, aiming to catch the next big idea before it becomes big.
· Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (GSLC)
Goldman Sachs shocked the world in September 2015 when it launched GSLC. The fund—combining exposure to four different factors in a single ETF—debuted with an expense ratio of just 0.09%, making it by far the cheapest “smart beta” ETF on the market.
· John Hancock Multifactor Large Cap (JHML)
JHML is the flagship ETF in a new suite of low-cost ETFs developed by John Hancock in partnership with Dimensional Fund Advisors. The multifactor methodology—emphasizing value as well as profit factors—will be familiar to fans of DFA, which previously only made funds available to advisors operating inside the DFA program.
· PowerShares S&P 500 ex-Rate Sensitive Low Volatility (XRLV)
As investors brace for rising rates, XRLV offers a unique solution: The fund holds the stocks in the S&P 500 while removing the 100 names that tend to fare the worst when rates rise.
· SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free (SPYX)
With concerns rising about global warming, SPYX offers investors the unique opportunity to gain broad-based exposure to the S&P 500 while avoiding firms owning fossil fuel reserves—coal, oil and natural gas. It’s more targeted exclusion than avoiding “energy” writ large.
Best New International/Global Equity ETF
Awarded to the most important international or global equity ETF launched in 2015.
Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognize an ETF that opens new areas of the market, lowers costs, drives risk-adjusted performance or provides innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after Jan. 1, 2015, are eligible. The ETF must be classified by FactSet as an equity ETF, but not a U.S.-focused equity ETF, to qualify.
· Direxion Daily CSI 300 China A Share Bear 1X Shares (CHAD)
It’s hard to find a China ETF that’s performed well, but CHAD offers one exposure. Exquisitely timed, CHAD hit the market in June, just as China’s A-share market started to crumble, and gave investors a way to profit from trouble in the Far East.
· EGShares EM Core ex-China (XCEM)
China’s equity markets have been a disaster recently. XCEM offers investors the ability to sidestep China while still holding broad-based emerging market exposure. An “Ex-China” EM fund also solves the problem of which China investors want to hold: A-shares or the H-shares owned by most broad-based funds. A portfolio holding XCEM and ASHR, anyone?
· Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Emerging Markets Equity (GEM)
GEM offers broad-based exposure to emerging markets viewed through the lens of four factors: book value; sales and cash flow; profits; and volatility. The resulting portfolio can replace core EM exposure with a portfolio tilted toward value stocks.
· iShares Exponential Technologies ETF (XT)
A unique partnership between Edelman Financial and iShares, XT represents a new take on technology investing, focusing on companies both developing and using technology to fundamentally change the way things work. Holding everything from biotech to Netflix, it’s a unique play on the economy of tomorrow.
· WisdomTree Europe Hedged SmallCap Equity (EUSC)
If investors want exposure to hedged European equities, then they will want exposure to hedged European small-caps, right? That’s the premise behind EUSC, which launched in March and has attracted more than $235 million in assets.