Most of the recent milestones associated with the exchange traded funds industry have been positive, but a negative milestone was reached this week.
With the close of five target-date ETFs from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (Deutsche AWM) this week, 500 ETFs and exchange traded notes (ETNs) have closed, according to Ron Rowland of Invest With an Edge.
“To put this number in perspective, a grand total of 2,207 ETFs and ETNs have been listed on US exchanges. The 500 closures represents a 22.7% mortality rate,” notes Rowland.
In 2014, approximately 80 ETFs closed while issuers brought nearly 205 new products to market. This year, nearly 30 U.S. ETFs have been closed. Roughly 90 new ETFs have come to market this year and the number will likely top 100 in the coming weeks. [Another Good Year for new ETFs]
Last year, 205 exchange traded products debuted in the U.S., but in a sign of the increasingly competitive fight for investors’ attention assets, by late in the year, close to half 2014’s new ETFs had less than $10 million in assets under management. Some of this year’s new ETFs have found rapid success, including the SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (NYSEArca: TOTL), CSOP FTSE China A50 ETF (NYSEArca: AFTY) and the iShares Exponential Technologies ETF (NYSEArca: XT). [Fast Success for Some new ETFs]
As Rowland notes, ETF closures are signs of a healthy industry. Other industries shutter non-performing assets and businesses. For example, Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUX) announced 600 closures in 2008, but that did not mean coffee was out of style. Said another way, ETF closures do not mean the industry is faltering. Actually, the opposite is true.
According to ETFGI, a London-based ETF research firm, the global exchange traded products industry will surpass hedge funds in terms of assets under management this quarter.