It looks as if everyone has caught on to the municipal bond exchange traded fund (ETF) trend. At least four major ETF providers submitted applications to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July for municipal bond ETFs, says Matt Hougan for Index Universe.

  • Barclays Global Investors
    Barclays was the first of the ETF providers to file with the SEC in early July and currently has three muni-bond ETFs in registration.
  • State Street Global Advisors
    State Street Global Advisors was hot on Barclays’ trails as it filed for four muni-bond ETFs in mid-July.
  • Van Eck
    Van Eck has filed for six muni-bond ETFs, which is the most out of the other ETF providers. 
  • PowerShares
    PowerShares announced earlier this month that it will offer a couple of muni-bond ETFs that are slated to launch in October.

Each of the ETF providers has different advantages when it comes to the new ETFs, so it’s hard to tell which one might be more successful than another. While marketing efforts will play a large role in determining who comes out on top, most likely the biggest factor will be expense ratios. This is a good example of doing your homework and knowing what the differences are between the similar products.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.