WisdomTree Investments, upstart exchange traded fund manager, is making a mark in the business. The industry is dominated by the three largest providers by assets under management, but the innovative manager is making a name for itself.
Investors have noticed. WisdomTree (NasdaqGM: WETF) shares have rallied about 70% so far this year.
“In the ETF space, it is not easy being second or third to market with a product, and being first to market is a substantial advantage,” Jonathan Steinberg, CEO and founder of WisdomTree, said in a recent report. “But if you’re not first, you have to be differentiated, and it also helps to be better.” [WisdomTree Japan Fund Leads ETFs with Amazing $4 Billion Inflow]
WisdomTree was an upstart ETF company that came to market in 2006 with 20 products. Their products focus on innovation and carve out an untapped area of the market, rather than taking a broad-based vanilla approach, reports Jeff Benjamin of Investment News. Today, the provider has a suite of 47 ETFs that pick up where other funds leave off.
WisdomTree has used fundamental indexing methods since the beginning. This style weights companies based on factors other than market-cap, and focuses in on dividends, earnings or equal representation. The indices are re-balanced annually. [WisdomTree: Asian Equities Valued at a Historically Sweet Spot]
For example, the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DXJ) has $501 billion in assets under management, with $3.5 billion in new inflows this year. DXJ is from the original line-up when the firm debuted. The ETF gives investors exposure to Japanese equities, minus the currency conversion. DXJ is denominated in U.S. dollars. [Japan ETFs Rally on Further Monetary Easing Talk]
“We don’t think cap-weighted indexes are optimal, because they tilt the weight toward the most expensive stocks and they don’t re-balance,” said Luciano Siracusano, the company’s chief investment strategist, in the InvestmentNews story.