Finalists Announced For 2016 Awards

January 17, 2017

Best New ETF – 2016

Awarded to the most important ETF launched in 2016.

Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognize ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk-adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after Dec. 31, 2015, are eligible.

  • Deutsche X-trackers USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYLB): HYLB got the nod from nominators who applauded Deutsche Bank for adding fee competition into the ETF space: HYLB is priced at just 0.25% compared with 0.50% for its top peers.
  • Fidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates (FDRR): This intriguing new ETF, which selects firms that have strong dividend payments and returns that are correlated with rising rates, was described as “the perfect ETF for today’s market.”
  •  JPMorgan Diversified Alternatives ETF (JPHF): “Finally a big name and well-thought-out entrant to the liquid alts space,” wrote one nomination entry, echoing a popular sentiment about an ETF some have called “the hedge fund killer.”
  • NuShares Enhanced Yield U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NUAG): NUAG solves one of the biggest concerns facing investors: what to do with their bond portfolios. It offers a sensible, rules-based tweak to traditional bond exposure, increasing yield without going crazy.
  • SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE): This well-received ETF was the second-fastest growing ETF launched in 2016. It offers, per one nomination, “a unique opportunity to seek a financial return on gender diversity and create change with capital by providing a transparent, relatively low-cost way to invest in companies that have achieved greater levels of gender diversity at the senior management level.”
  • Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF (VYMI): VYMI won plaudits for offering broad-based exposure to high-yielding companies at a very reasonable fee of just 0.30%. The fund looks not at historical dividend yield, but at expected future yield, to select components.

Most Innovative New ETF – 2016

Awarded to the most groundbreaking and disruptive ETF launched in 2016. This is an ETF that is pushing the envelope in terms of what kinds of exposures can be packaged into an ETF.

  • American Customer Satisfaction Core Alpha ETF (ACSI): Nominators loved that this ETF took a different approach to smart beta. Rather than weighting companies by traditional fundamentals, it weights those with the highest customer satisfactions scores within each sector, the idea being that that will lead to long-term success.
  • REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (VMAX): The first ’40 Act fund to offer exposure to VIX futures. More than that, it uses weekly futures in an attempt to achieve a higher correlation to benchmark VIX than traditional products.
  • SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE): This extremely popular product won plaudits for translating societal good—investing in companies that achieve high levels of gender diversity among executives—into financial results.
  • BUZZ US Sentiment Leaders ETF (BUZ): Take social media, run it through a big data engine, add in a sprinkling of artificial intelligence and package it in an ETF. Innovation? Yeah, it’s got that.
  • VelocityShares VIX Tail Risk ETN (BSWN): This unique product pairs positive exposure to leveraged long-dated VIX futures with inverse exposure to short-term VIX, trying to hedge tail risk while mitigating the massive decay that hits most VIX products.


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