And The Award Winners Are …

March 16, 2016

Best New U.S. Fixed-Income ETF: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond (VTEB)

Awarded to the most important fixed-income ETF launched in 2015.

The Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond (VTEB) brought the fee wars to the muni bond ETF space—a segment that until now had been exempt from serious fee competition. VTEB offers broad-based exposure to the muni space with a fee of just 0.12%. With yields low, that low fee really matters.

Finalists included:

· FlexShares Credit-Scored U.S. Long Corporate Bond (LKOR)

· iShares U.S. Fixed Income Balanced Risk (INC)

· iShares Short Maturity Municipal Bond (MEAR)

· WisdomTree Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Enhanced Yield Fund (AGGY)

Best New International/Global Fixed-Income ETF: SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical (TOTL)

Awarded to the most important international or global fixed-income ETF launched in 2015.

The fastest-growing new ETF to launch in 2015, the SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical (TOTL), delivers bond guru Jeffrey Gundlach’s active management acumen in an easy-to-buy ETF wrapper. While it’s been a difficult market for bonds in general, TOTL has managed to outperform the market significantly since launch.

Finalists included:

· Deutsche X-trackers Emerging Markets Bond - Interest Rate Hedged (EMIH)

· iShares Core International Aggregate Bond (IAGG)

· Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Unconstrained Bond (NFLT)

· WisdomTree Western Asset Unconstrained Bond (UBND)

Best New Commodity ETF: WisdomTree Coal (TONS)

Awarded to the most important commodity ETF launched in 2015.

The WisdomTree Coal (TONS) holds equal amounts of three different futures contracts on Rotterdam coal, one of the largest coal terminals in Europe. The fund is pricey, with an expense ratio over 1%, but it is the only coal futures ETF available. If you’re a bull on old-school energy, this may be the ETF for you. There were no other finalists in this category.

Best New Alternatives ETF: Hull Tactical US (HTUS)

Awarded to the most important alternatives ETF launched in 2015.

The actively managed Hull Tactical US ETF (HTUS) aims for capital appreciation—regardless of market cycle—using long, short and leveraged positions in the S&P 500, along with cash. The fund rotates based on the quant models of its manager, HTAA, ranging aggressively from 2X to -1X exposure based on what’s happening in the market.

Finalists included:

· ALPS Enhanced Put Write Strategy (PUTX)

· Highland HFR Event-Driven ETF (DRVN)

· QuantShares Hedged Dividend Income (DIVA)

· WisdomTree Dynamic Long/Short U.S. Equity (DYLS)

Best New Asset Allocation ETF: Credit Suisse X-Links Multi-Asset High Income ETN (MLTI)

Awarded to the most important ETF launched in 2015 that combines exposure to multiple asset classes.

The Credit Suisse X-Links Multi-Asset High Income ETN (MLTI) tracks an index of dividend-paying BDCs, REITs, U.S.-listed equity, international equity, high-yield bonds, emerging market bonds, preferred stock and convertible bonds. Components are chosen by yield and weighted by liquidity. With its emphasis on nontraditional assets, it should offer unique diversification against a traditional stock/bond portfolio.

Finalists included:

· IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker (QGTA)

· Master Income (HIPS)

· Principal EDGE Active Income (YLD)

· Tuttle Tactical Management U.S. Core (TUTT)

Best New Smart-Beta/Factor ETF: Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap Equity (GSLC)

Awarded to the most important new ETF launched in 2015, regardless of asset class, that uses a quantitative, research-driven approach to attempt to deliver superior long-term risk-adjusted returns.

The importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. 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.

Finalists included:

· Cambria Value and Momentum (VAMO)

· iShares FactorSelect MSCI USA (LRGF)

· John Hancock Multifactor Large Cap (JHML)

· Lattice Developed Markets (ex-US) Strategy (RODM)

Best ETF Issuer: Deutsche Asset Management

Awarded to the ETF issuer that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through product introductions, product performance, fund management, asset gathering, investor support and innovation in 2015.

Deutsche Asset Management was the fastest-growing ETF issuer on a percentage basis in 2015, tacking more than 400% AUM growth on an already-sizable base. The firm pulled in more than $16 billion in net new assets, and broke strongly into the ranks of the top 11 issuers. With innovative products in currency hedging, China exposure and bonds, it pushed the envelope in terms of what was available to investors.

Finalists included:

· BlackRock’s iShares

· Charles Schwab

· State Street Global Advisors

· Vanguard

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