The United States isn’t chopped liver when it comes to offering interesting and creative exchange traded funds (ETFs), but where do we stand when compared with the rest of the world?

Matthew Hougan for Index Universe says that the frontier index ETFs from Deustche Bank got him wondering if we could be playing a little bit of catch-up here. Europe already has two of the frontier ETFs, which track pre-emerging markets. There’s been talk of one here, but so far, no dice.

In the past, the model in Europe was to see what was successful in the U.S. and then replicate it . But now that the tide seems to have turned, maybe it’s all the better: there are great innovations taking place across the seas.

Perhaps European markets can test out products before we do, and it will help U.S. ETF providers to see what works and what doesn’t before launching similar products here. It could be better for us to wait things out and avoid ETF closures because of low assets.

It may be okay to have these innovative ETFs tested out somewhere else but there are still  many interesting ones in registration here.

Another question: Could it simply be that our regulation process is more time-consuming than it is in Europe?

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.