SPY - The Birth of ETFs and a Whole New Way of Trading

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the first U.S.-listed exchange traded fund that changed the investment landscape as we know it.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY), which tracks the benchmark S&P 500 Index, was the first ETF to come to market in the U.S. back in January 22, 1993.

“It was a lot of work,” James Ross, Chairman of Global SPDR Business for State Street Global Advisors, said at the Inside ETFs 2018 conference. “There was a lot of hard work, technology, all that stuff that no one thinks about – to see whether or not creation/redemption, any kind of process could actually work.”

Ross explained how the American Stock Exchange came up with the idea and needed a partner to execute it.

“It was born out of a crisis, was born out of the past in 1987,” Ross said, referring to the Black Monday event on October 19, 1987 when stock markets around the world crashed.

(Webcast) SPY: An Innovation that Sparked a Revolution