YouTuber Paffrath's ETF Sees Assets Skyrocket After December Launch

YouTuber Paffrath's ETF Sees Assets Skyrocket After December Launch

'Meet Kevin' inflows jump more than twentyfold, aided by popular video channel.

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Reviewed by: Zoya Mirza
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Edited by: Zoya Mirza

Popular YouTuber and financial adviser Kevin Paffrath landed a big win for his flagship exchange-traded fund, growing assets more than twentyfold just over a month after the fund launched

The actively managed The Meet Kevin Pricing Power ETF (PP) began trading on the NYSE Arca with $500,000 in assets on Nov. 29 and has since topped $11.15 million, says the fund’s website. The fund invests in U.S.-listed equity securities of “innovative companies,” or firms that are able to increase prices and margins, while maintaining demand and prioritizing growth, according to the fund’s prospectus. 

Paffrath attributed most, if not all, the fund’s success to an announcement posted on his “Meet Kevin” channel on YouTube, where the financial advisor has almost 2 million subscribers. 

Social media is a powerful tool for the ETF industry and the finance world at large. Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok allow industry experts, financial advisors and market research firms—alongside finance influencers, also known as “finfluencers”—direct access to potential investors. Experts in the ETF realm include Bloomberg Intelligence’s Eric Balchunas and Morningstar’s Ben Johnson. 

“Our marketing expenses are basically zero for the ETF because of the channel’s popularity, which is perfect,” Paffrath told ETF.com, adding that he expects most of PP’s investors to be viewers of his content online. 

Social media imprint directly leads to followers investing in his ETF, who, he believes, have “a long-term investing horizon,” and are not fazed by the current market turbulence. 

“We think we have a unique strategy, and one that is going to pay massive dividends in the long run,” Paffrath said.  

Examining the ‘Influencer’ Label 

Despite Paffrath’s recent success as a high-profile “influencer,” social media stars selling investment products are sometimes viewed as a risk to investors. 

“Influencer/celebrity-endorsed products are typically a bad idea for investors,” Morningstar’s Director of Passive Strategies Research Bryan Armour told ETF.com in an email. “‘Meet Kevin’ is a real estate influencer that derives most of his income from YouTube. That’s not typically the background you want from the namesake of an ETF, especially when he’s also the subadvisor.” 

The top holding in PP’s portfolio is Tesla Inc., comprising almost 25% of its assets—an allocation Paffrath said he would increase to 50% if he could.  

According to him, Tesla’s drop in value and poor performance is only a short-term problem due to the company’s association with founder Elon Musk and his acquisition of Twitter Inc. Tesla stock, Paffrath predicted, is poised to generate high returns over the course of the next few years. 

Despite growth in assets, PP has dropped almost 14% since the time of its launch, with Tesla shares accounting for 9.28% of this decline, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence. 

“The portfolio comes with substantial risk, most notably its high concentration in a few companies,” Armour added. 

Paffrath said his next ETF will focus on real estate—an area that the internet personality is quite familiar with, having previously worked as a real estate broker. 

 

Contact Zoya Mirza at [email protected] 

Zoya Mirza is a markets reporter at etf.com. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Voice of America, and United Press International, among others. Mirza is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her past experiences include editorial work in book publishing and conducting political analysis for NGOs and think tanks. Mirza is a passionate bibliophile and collects vintage postcards from every bookstore she visits in a new city.