Many ETFs Are Popular Despite Being Under Three Years Old

By Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA

Within CFRA’s more than 1,400 equity and bond ETF rating coverage universe, there are also hundreds of funds that have launched in the last three years. Some like products launched in 2018 from JPMorgan and SSGA have quickly gathered more than $1 billion in assets. Meanwhile, others are just waiting to be found, but offer unique, but diversified exposure to a slice of the market.

CFRA recently kicked off a series of ETF educational video content to highlight the variety of compelling ETF products available for advisor consideration. We typically rate ETFs within the first three months of its history and can help compare what, if anything, is unique about a new ETF.

JPMorgan BetaBuilders Canada ETF (BBCA) is a great example of a new fund that has gathered assets. Many investors seeking exposure to Canada will have this $2.2 billion ETF on their radar screen, despite it launching in August 2018. The ETF holds 46% of assets in its top-10 holdings, including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and Enbridge.

BBCA charges a 0.19% expense ratio, which is half the fee of more established and similarly market-cap weighted peer iShares MSCI Canada (EWC). However, the trading volume for EWC is sharply higher, providing more liquidity. CFRA thinks investors need to go beyond an ETF’s expense ratio to understand the total cost of ownership.

Meanwhile, Communications Services Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLC) is only slightly older, having launched in June 2018, though the $3 billion of assets began flowing in primarily following the GICS sector realignment in late September. With the GICS changes, investors who used Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) to gain exposure to Facebook and Alphabet or held Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) for its stakes in Disney and Netflix needed to shift focus to a new fund.