As the exchange traded fund universe continues to expand, newer ETFs have become more focused. Among the most popular recent launches, offerings that target popular market segments or provide a customized strategy have been able to attract greater interest.
For starters, the iShares Exponential Technologies ETF (NYSEArca: XT) has been the fastest growing new ETF launch this year, growing to $686.7 million in assets under management after it began trading on March 23. BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares unit and Ric Edelman’s Edelman Financial Services, one of the largest independent registered investment advisory firms, partnered to launch XT, which tracks companies with significant exposure to technological transformation or promising new technological advances. [Edelman, iShares Launch Exponential Technologies ETF]
In mid-June, Pacer Financial Inc. entered the ETF arena with a suite of so-called Pacer Trendpilot ETFs, including the Pacer Trendpilot 750 ETF (BATS: PTLC), Pacer Trendpilot 450 ETF (BATS: PTMC) and Pacer Trendpilot 100 ETF (BATS: PTNQ). PTLC is the second most popular ETF launch of the year, with $214.1 million in AUM; PTMC is the fourth most popular new ETF, with $48.3 million in AUM; and PTNQ comes in at 10th with $40.9 million in AUM.
The Pacer ETFs implement a trend following strategy. Specifically, PTLC takes a 100% position in the Wilshire US Large-Cap Index when the benchmark is trading above its 200-day simple moving average for five consecutive days, moves to a 50% position to the large-cap index and 50% 3-month U.S. T-bills when the benchmark falls below its 200-day for five consecutive days, and takes on 100% 3-month US T-Bills if the benchmark closes lower than its value from five business days earlier. PTMC follows the same move between Wilshire US Mid-Cap Index and US T-Bills, and PTNQ follows the similar trend following strategy with the Nasdaq-100 Index.
The WisdomTree Europe Hedged SmallCap Equity Fund (NYSEArca: EUSC) has garnered $213.8 million in AUM, after launching on April 30, and is the third most popular new ETF of the year. The small-cap currency-hedged Europe strategy has attracted interest as a play on the expanding Eurozone economy while hedging against a potentially weaker EUR. [Earnings Beats Help Support Europe ETFs’ Outlook]
The Innovator IBD 50 Fund (NYSEArca: FFTY) launched on April 9 and has $77.9 million in AUM. Regular readers of Investor’s Business Daily are well-acquainted with the publication’s venerable IBD 50, a group of fundamentally sound leading stocks displaying impressive relative strength. [The IBD 50 in an ETF Wrapper]