April saw a continuation of market turbulence, driven by rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, ongoing geopolitical headwinds, and lackluster first-quarter earnings results among many mega-cap companies.
“Carnage and velocity are the words that come to mind when thinking about the markets in April,” the market intelligence desk team at the Nasdaq wrote. The broader markets were battered as large-cap growth stocks fell double-digit percentages, the worst April on record since 2000, while large-cap value “outperformed,” falling only 5.6%.
Equity ETFs saw a combined 19.8 billion in net outflows in April, but despite the tough month for the larger market, three funds in ALPS’ range of ETFs continued to gain momentum with investors and saw noteworthy inflows.
The ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (SDOG), which took the top spot in February after having seen $18 million in monthly flows and then dropped to third place in March after taking in a more reserved $7 million in March, regained its spot in April as ALPS’ most popular ETF, according to ETF Database.
SDOG saw $10 million in net inflows in April and ended the month with $1.3 billion in assets under management. According to ETF Database, the fund has seen $39 million in net inflows year to date.
The fund is unique because it maintains equal allocations to each of the ten sectors, which makes it very different from many dividend-focused products, which tend to have biases towards utilities and financials.
The ALPS Clean Energy ETF (ACES) took second place, its first time on the leaderboard this year, after bringing in over $3 million in net inflows in April, ending the month with $682 million in assets. The fund has seen $20 million in net outflows year to date, according to ETF Database.
ACES offers meaningful exposure to Tesla, which reported record margins for Q1 in April, in addition to other North American companies that enable the evolution of a more sustainable energy sector, and includes activities such as renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydropower, biofuels), clean technologies (electric vehicles, battery technology, fuel cells, smart grids), and any other emerging clean energy technology.
Funds that offer exposure to the energy transition have seen increased interest and demand since Russia’s late February invasion of Ukraine brought to light the necessity of investments in clean energy initiatives. Other funds that offer exposure to the space include the SPDR S&P Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG), the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN), and the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN).
The ALPS Hillman Active Value ETF (HVAL), launched in July 2021 and garnered $7 million in assets under management, took third place after taking in nearly $1 million in net inflows in April. HVAL has seen almost $2 million in net inflows year to date.
Managed by Hillman Capital Management (HCM), a value equity boutique investment manager with over 25 years of experience, HVAL doesn’t just focus on stocks with low price-to-book and price-to-earnings ratios. The fund screens not only for attractively valued companies but also those with durable competitive positioning as well.
The fund invests in common stocks of U.S. companies that the subadvisor believes have competitive advantages and have temporarily fallen out of favor for reasons that are considered non-recurring or short-term; whose value is not currently well known; or whose value is not fully recognized by the public, according to the the regulatory filings.
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