The exchange traded fund industry may begin to slow down its product expansion after ETF providers filled out the majority of investment styles, beta indexing and niche strategies.
“Barring any movement on active ETFs, I think perhaps we’re closer to the year that the number of ETFs shrinks,” Michael Iachini, managing director of ETF research at Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, said in an Ignites report.
Iachini did not state that there will be fewer ETFs at the end of 2015 than the end of 2014, but he does not think that a diminution sometime in the future is too farfetched.
While the ETF industry was expanding, there were some growing pains along the way.
Launch and liquidation trends “are consistent with a maturing industry,” Bill Belden, head of ETF product development and management at Guggenheim Investments, said in the article. “The pace by which liquidations will continue to increase and there are fewer gaps to fill as product development is concerned.”
As the industry becomes saturated with ETF strategies, the number of losing ideas could increase, with sponsors shuttering unsuccessful products at a greater pace than new fund launches.
For instance, BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest ETF sponsor, launched 29 new ETFs in 2014, the same number of ETFs that iShares closed over the same period. [Some Issuers Get Selective About New ETF Launches]