So far, this has been the year of the exchange traded note (ETN). Investment banks and fund providers have been lining them up in the market in droves.

But how come investors haven’t been lining up in droves to buy them? Most ETNs have fewer than $100 million in assets: 78 of the 89 available ones fall under that mark. The ETN marketplace collectively has $7.2 billion, however.

Ian Salisbury for the Wall Street Journal says there could be a number of possible reasons, including credit risk, complex strategies and remaining uncertainty about their tax status.

Their primary advantage is that they offer investors access to hard-to-reach areas, such as India and currencies. But some wonder if it’s just a case of too much product competing for investor attention.

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