Biggest ETF Launches Of The Year

December 26, 2018

Bespoke Products

In a similar vein, the Barclays ETNs in this list—the Barclays ETN+ FI Enhanced Global High Yield ETN Series B (FIYY) and the Barclays ETN+ FI Enhanced Europe 50 ETN Series C (FFEU)—didn’t come to market in hopes of finding investor demand, they did so as bespoke products used by Fisher Investments for its in-house strategies.

Again, they are the type of new launch that has its asset pool waiting, and an approach to bringing new products to the market we’ve seen before.

Barclays actually started off the year announcing 50 closures in a massive revamp of its ETN lineup, later bringing to market strategies that found themselves among the year’s biggest debuts.

Cost Advantages

Finally, two of these top-10 funds brought on some innovation at competitive prices.

The first is the SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM). GLDM effectively is a mini version of the massively popular SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), with each share representing 1/100 of an ounce of gold, or 1/10th as much gold per share as GLD.

That smaller, more accessible price handle also comes with one of the lowest expense ratios in the segment—0.18%, or $18 per $10,000 invested. That compares with 0.40% for GLD, and it’s also cheaper than the 0.25% fee for the iShares Gold Trust (IAU), which offers similar access to gold as GLDM.

GLDM’s launch was so price-aggressive, it triggered a fee war in the gold ETF space this year.

The second, the Principal Investment Grade Corporate Active ETF (IG), brought cost-competitive active management to the investment-grade corporate bond space—a segment that’s led by passive ETFs such as the $30 billion iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD).

IG, Principal’s 13th ETF, and second-cheapest, costs 0.26% in expense ratio versus LQD’s 0.15%. For an actively managed fixed-income fund, it’s hardly cost-prohibitive. But IG's success story goes beyond cost. The fund's quick asset gain is also linked to in-house assets, according to FactSet data, as 90% of IG's shares outstanding are owned by Principal.

Stacking Up New Launches By Assets

As we approach the end of 2018, here’s how these magic beans stack up in total assets. Ranging from $230 million to $3.4 billion, this is certainly not too shabby a debut for these newcomers standing out among the 230-plus new ETFs launched this year.


Biggest New ETF Launches In 2018 By Assets

Ticker Fund Launch Date YTD Flows ($M) AUM ($M)
XLC Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund 06/18/2018 3,133.20 3,461.11
BBJP JPMorgan BetaBuilders Japan ETF 06/15/2018 3,049.87 3,251.88
BBCA JPMorgan BetaBuilders Canada ETF 08/07/2018 2,135.64 2,342.55
BBEU JPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETF 06/15/2018 1,754.46 1,899.64
FIYY Barclays ETN+ FI Enhanced Global High Yield Exchange Traded Notes Series B 03/15/2018 1,416.76 1,445.23
BBAX JPMorgan BetaBuilders Developed Asia ex-Japan ETF 08/07/2018 750.14 801.28
FFEU Barclays ETN+ FI Enhanced Europe 50 Exchange Traded Notes Series C 03/15/2018 635.29 766.65
GLDM SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust 06/25/2018 330.79 302.22
JHEM John Hancock Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF 09/27/2018 282.71 281.44
IG Principal Investment Grade Corporate Active ETF 04/18/2018 223.72 229.07

Tables data:, FactSet


Contact Cinthia Murphy at [email protected]

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