ETF Closures Hit 3-Year High in 2023

The reasons for the closures ranged widely, including ineffective strategies.

Wealth Management Editor
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

ETF closures hit a three-year high in 2023 with 246 funds shuttered, which is up from 147 in 2022 and 72 in 2021. 

Still, the total number of ETFs continues to climb as issuers launched 529 new funds last year, which is up from 419 in 2022 and 475 in 2021. 

Last year’s total ETF closings still fall short of the 2020 peak when 261 funds closed and 335 were launched. 

According to data compiled from Morningstar and Bloomberg Intelligence, the shuttered funds ranged widely across styles, asset classes and performance. 

The best-performing fund to shut down last year was the VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF (DAM), which was up more than 100% from the start of the year when it closed on April 24. Launched on March 7, 2022, DAM’s performance peaked just 10 days before it closed. 

Twenty of the closed ETFs had registered gains of 20% or more from the start of the year on their closing dates. 

Another ETF with a brief but strong run that closed last year was the AXS 2X Bear Daily ETF (PFES), a single-stock ETF betting big on the negative movement of Pfizer Inc. stock.  

Pfizer shares declined by more than 35% last year and PFES, which launched in July 2022, was up nearly 66% when it closed on June 6 of last year. 

"We're seeing a lot of closures of ETFs launched during the hot period from late 2020 through early 2022 when pandemic fiscal stimulus and ultra loose monetary policy was juicing market returns, ETF inflows and interest in ETFs from all types of investors,” said Jeff Schwartz, president at fund research firm Markov Processes International. 

ETF Closures and Ineffective Strategy 

A number of the poorer performing funds closed because of ineffective strategies.   

With a decline of nearly 82% last year through the Nov. 14 liquidation, the ConvexityShares Daily 1.5X SPIKES Futures ETF (SPKY) registered the biggest decline on the list.  

SPKY, which launched on Aug. 15, 2022, was designed for active traders and speculators looking to capitalize on volatility in the U.S. equity markets. 

Another strategy that failed to deliver was the Noble Absolute Return ETF (NOPE), which logged a year-to-date loss of 68% at its liquidation on Aug. 24. 

Launched in September 2022 to offer both long and short exposure to the global equity markets, NOPE might have also been hampered by its outsized expense ratio of 1.82%. 

Contact Jeff Benjamin at [email protected] and find him on X at @BenjiWriter.     

Jeff Benjamin is the wealth management editor at, responsible for coverage related to the financial planning industry. This includes writing, hosting podcasts, webinars, video interviews and presenting at in-person events.

Jeff is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years’ experience covering the financial markets. He has won more than two dozen national and regional awards for his reporting. He most recently worked as a senior columnist at InvestmentNews where he wrote about investment products and strategies, as well as the broader financial planning industry. Prior to that, Jeff worked as an analyst at Cerulli Associates where he researched and wrote reports on the alternative investments industry. Jeff also worked as a money management reporter at Dow Jones Newswires, where he covered the mutual fund industry.

Based in North Carolina, Jeff is a former Marine and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.