The race has been won: amid a collapse and a possible buyout, Bear Stearns (BSC) actually found time to launch the first actively managed exchange traded fund (ETF).

The Bear Stearns Current Yield Fund (YYY) began trading today on the American Stock Exchange. The fund is a portfolio of short-term fixed income securities, including U.S. government securities, bank obligations, corporate debt obligations, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, municipal obligations, foreign corporate debt obligations, repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements.

Many in the industry were surprised by the launch, says Rob Wherry for Smart Money. When J.P. Morgan’s acquisition of Bear Stearns is complete, the fund will be re-branded with the J.P. Morgan name.

The holdings of the fund will be disclosed daily, and the portfolio manager has the discretion to choose securities for the fund.

Now that we’ve got the first actively managed ETF up and running, it will be interesting to watch and see if investors go for it. If there was any skepticism about an actively managed fund, will the Bear Stearns name on this one hurt it?

Either way, these funds are going to have to show good performance if they’re going to attract money. If that happens, start looking for some well-known names to get in on the game, too.

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.

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