Leveling The Playing Field
So what’s an investor to do? And what are we going to do?
As we looked at the state of the industry, the enormous growth potential and the stumbling blocks, we realized something: The good guys have to win.
If ETFs are going to fulfill their potential and exceed mutual funds on an asset basis within 10 years, people have to be able to find the right products and they have to be happy with the results when they do.
And for us, that’s opportunity. We, as a firm, will be successful if investors get all of the benefits of ETFs and manage to avoid the pitfalls, because the growth in the space will be absolutely enormous.
All that is why we decided to take the $2,000/year, institutional-caliber product that we’d been designing for three years—which we’ve been selling successfully to the world’s smartest ETF strategists, advisors and institutions—and make it available to anyone who bothers to type in “etf.com/spy” or “etf.com/vxx” into their browser. For free.
We’ll be honest. More than a few people think we’re nuts. Some have asked if we give preferential treatment to ETF issuers for a fee (the answer is obviously no; our scores are completely quant-driven, and our commentary is nothing but blunt and unbiased).
The reason we made the switch to free is simple: If the good guys win, we believe that we’ll be at the center of something pretty special—a revolution in the way people invest. Occupying that space will be enormously valuable.
We’ve got enough faith in this that we’re willing to give our away best work, in a Silicon Valley-style play for audience and airtime. We aim to win, and to be the dominant source of information on ETFs in the world.
Of course, we’d love it if you come to our conferences, subscribe to the Exchange-Traded Fund Report, support our advertisers, or maybe check out our new ETF.com Alpha Think Tank, where you can get insights from some of the best macro managers in the world for less than the cost of a fancy coffee a week (email [email protected] for a sample).
But even if you don’t, we hope you’ll use our tools and our website. So before you buy your next ETF, type it into your browser using the simple convention we’ve developed—www.etf.com/ticker—and see if we rate it an A or a B. If not, read the commentary and discover why, and decide if it’s worth buying, or if the risks outweigh the rewards.
Better yet, start your ETF research with our finder (www.etf.com/finder) and use our screens to find the best ETFs for you.
In short, help us make sure the good guys win. We think it will be a mutually beneficial relationship … for years to come.