ETF Trends
ETF Trends

With over 1,600 products on the market with $1.9 trillion in assets under management, the exchange traded fund industry continues to grow, but some investment ideas will inevitably fall through the cracks.

Direxion is the latest ETF provider to announce ETF closures, along with ALPS, iShares and PIMCO. Given the recently announced closures, over 50 ETFs are expected to be delisted so far this year. In comparison, about 70 ETFs were shuttered in 2013. [Direxion to Shutter Five Leveraged Bear ETFs]

Nevertheless, the closings are part of a healthy industry, reflecting providers’ responsiveness to investors’ needs, writes Teresa Rivas for Barron’s. [iShares Will Close 18 ETFs]

Wells Fargo analysts Danie Brown and Mariana Bush point out that the exchange traded product universe, which includes ETFs and exchange traded notes, has expanded from 145 products with $179 billion in assets to 1,613 products with $1.9 trillion over the past decade, or an asset compound annual growth rate of 26%.

“Along with this rapid growth there have been a reasonably-large number of ETP closures,” the Wells Fargo analysts said in a note. “However, we believe this is a natural and healthy pruning process that will more than likely continue as the ETP industry matures.”

Since 2008, over 400 ETPs have closed as the products were unable to garner the necessary number of investors and assets to sustain operations.

Closures help promote greater competition. The ETF industry is top heavy, with BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), State Street (NYSE: STT) and Vanguard Investments dominating market share. However, smaller companies are crafting specialized ETFs that track nontraditional benchmarks as opposed to beta, market-cap index ETFs.

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