Best New Active ETF – 2016
Awarded to the most important new actively managed ETF launched in 2016, regardless of asset class. 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. ETF must be classified as “Active per SEC” by FactSet to qualify.
- Amplify YieldShares CWP Dividend & Option Income ETF (DIVO): The first actively managed covered-call ETF, DIVO owns blue chip dividend-paying stocks and enhances the income by writing covered-call options on the underlying positions. The fund uniquely tactically writes those calls on the underlying stocks, rather than systematically writing them on the S&P 500 like other ETFs. The combination of dividends and option income leads to a nice total yield.
- Guggenheim Total Return Bond ETF (GTO): Like TOTL and BOND, GTO is a go-anywhere, actively managed fixed-income fund run by a blue chip manager at a decent fee (0.50%). We love active managers embracing ETFs and transparency.
- Janus Short Duration Income Fund (VNLA): Aside from the awesome ticker, VNLA won plaudits for its simple active mandate to outperform Libor without reaching too far out the duration curve. It’s a sensible product for investors looking to park cash.
- JPMorgan Diversified Alternatives ETF (JPHF): “Finally a big name and well-thought-out entrant to the liquid alts space,” wrote one nomination paper, echoing a popular sentiment about an ETF some have called “the hedge fund killer.”
- SPDR DoubleLine Short Duration Total Return Tactical (STOT): If you liked TOTL, the Jeff Gundlach go-anywhere ETF, you might wonder how he does managing a short-term fund. STOT lets you park one- to three-year money with DoubleLine for a fee of just 0.45%.
Thematic ETF of the Year – 2016
Awarded to the most important “thematic” ETF of 2016, as measured by its ability to capture important macro plays that can lead to specific portfolio outcomes. There is no requirement for this award regarding when this fund was launched.
- 3D Printing ETF (PRNT): 3D printing is super cool, and PRNT is the first ETF to focus on that market. It tracks a tiered, equal-weight index of companies involved in the 3D printing industry, including hardware, software, scanners, measurers and 3D printing centers.
- Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey & Spirits ETF (WSKY): More than just a great ticker, WSKY offers direct exposure to the hottest trend in spirits. With whiskey consumption growing faster than the price of a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, maybe WSKY is a good bet.
- PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK): Hacking stole the headlines in 2016, whether it was Yahoo, the DNC or Donald Trump. HACK offers pure-play exposure to the firms that fight the hackers, and you have to think that business is doing well.
- PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR): Video game contests are now attracting bigger audiences than many professional sports leagues. GAMR offers you a way to “play” that theme, holding companies operating in and around video games and virtual reality.
- SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE): This well-received ETF was the second-fastest-growing ETF launched in 2016. It offers, according to 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.”
- Summit Water Infrastructure Multifactor ETF (WTRX): Infrastructure spending is top of mind in the U.S., and climate change seems to be putting a premium on water. WTRX captures the trend by finding global firms with water-related equity exposure, choosing the best of the best based on a series of fundamental factors.