I woke up this week to a fun tidbit in my inbox delivered by my friends at KCG. In the morning ETF note, the writers broke the news (to me, at least) that Kevin O’Leary and his amazing marketing machine were debuting the first of what seems to be several ETFs from the Shark Tank personality. Reports are that the new ETF traded nearly 345,000 shares on day one and has $5 million in assets.
From a third-party perspective, O’Leary has seized the uptrend of popularity in ETFs and paired that with his formidable marketing footprint that includes, but is not limited to, his role on Shark Tank, his recurring commentary slots on CNBC and a significant social media presence. This surely will be a great case study to examine whether a great marketing machine can/should come before a good investment product idea – or if the marketing success of an ETF is a function of the quality of the product.
While the average investor was likely more aware of the debut of O’Leary’s ETF, a more impactful item to most industry insiders was the news that Dimensional Fund Advisors – a titan of a firm built on its commitment to exclusive distribution via trained and approved advisors – has entered into an agreement with John Hancock to launch ETFs. According to the statements, these ETFs will only be made available inside insurance and investment products packaged by Hancock. But, to me, it isn’t about DFA getting into ETFs (after all, that is really a small leap from mutual funds), but moreso about the fact that DFA will have a new avenue for distribution that didn’t exist before.
Read more at Iris.xyz.