I was at the NYSE opening bell ringing today for the first day of trading of PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca: TRXT), a huge event for the exchange traded fund business.
The launch was very successful with over a half-million shares traded already today, and likely to hit 1 million by the close. Bid/ask spreads are tight at around a penny. A great showing for the first day. Since the shares are trading around $100, these are significant inflows for a launch.
“Overall, ETFs have become an important part of the PIMCO toolkit,” Total Return ETF manager Bill Gross said. He said the value of the ETF vehicle drove the money manager to enter the business. [PIMCO ETF Puts Focus on Active ETFs]
PIMCO already has an established stable of ETFs including PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy Fund (NYSEArca: MINT), but today’s listing is the most important fund launch in recent memory. Everyone will be watching the trading volume and spreads in PIMCO Total Return ETF to judge its liquidity. Advisors could make the switch to the ETF version, which also makes it easier for more individual investors to access the strategy.
The launch “signals an important new phase in the development of the ETF marketplace,” Gross said Thursday. [PIMCO’s Gross: Play Defense]