How to Own the S&P 500 with Built-In Buffers

After getting burned over 2018, more cautious investors may be looking for a defensive investment strategy that could help provide a buffer in case of another sudden pullback ahead, especially with the economy heading toward the late business cycle. In this upcoming webcast, Innovator ETFs and ETF Trends will discuss one of the fastest growing segments of the ETF world and consider a revolutionary alternative strategy that could help investors keep exposure to the growth potential of U.S. equities.

April 1, 2019
11am PST | 2pm EST
1 CE Credit
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Tom Lydon, CEO of ETF Trends, moderates the discussion on:

  • Overview of current market conditions and the potential risks ahead
  • What are defined outcome ETFs?
  • A closer look at an S&P 500 strategy with a defined downside buffer
  • How financial advisors can incorporate a hedged equity strategy to diversify risk and enhance a portfolio for the market environment ahead  

Not accepted for one hour of CFP/CIMA CE credit for live and on-demand attendees

CFA Institute members are encouraged to self-document their continuing professional development activities in their online CE tracker.


Bruce Bond

Co-Founder and CEO
Innovator ETFs

Graham Day

Vice President of Product and Research
Innovator ETFs

Matt Kaufman

Milliman Financial Risk Management

Tom Lydon

ETF Trends

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Important Disclosures

For financial professional use only.

The Funds have characteristics unlike many other traditional investment products and may not be suitable for all investors. For more information regarding whether an investment in the Fund is right for you, please see “Investor Suitability” in the prospectus.

Investing involves risks. The Funds face numerous market trading risks, including active markets risk, authorized participation concentration risk, buffered loss risk, cap change risk, capped upside return risk, correlation risk, FLEX Option counterparty risk, cyber security risk, fluctuation of net asset value risk, investment objective risk, limitations of intraday indicative value risk, liquidity risk, management risk, market maker risk, market risk, non-diversification risk, operation risk, options risk, Outcome Period risk, tax risk, trading issues risk, upside participation risk and valuation risk. Unlike mutual funds, the Funds may trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. ETFs are bought and sold at market price and not individually redeemed from the fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns.

The outcomes that a Fund seeks to provide may only be realized if you are holding shares on the first day of the Outcome Period and continue to hold them on the last day of the Outcome Period, approximately one year. If you purchase shares after the Outcome Period has begun or sell shares prior to the Outcome Period’s conclusion, you may experience investment returns very different from those that a Fund seeks to provide.
These Funds are designed to provide point-to-point exposure to the price return of the S&P 500 via a basket of Flex Options. As a result, the ETFs are not expected to move directly in line with the S&P 500 during the interim period.

FLEX Options Risk. The Fund will utilize FLEX Options issued and guaranteed for settlement by the OCC. The Fund bears the risk that the OCC will be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the FLEX Options contracts. In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, the Fund could suffer significant losses. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than certain other securities such as standardized options. In less liquid market for the FLEX Options, the Fund may have difficulty closing out certain FLEX Options positions at desired times and prices. The values of FLEX Options do not increase or decrease at the same rate as the reference asset and may vary due to factors other than the price of reference asset.

Investors are subject to an upside return Cap that represents the maximum percentage return an investor can achieve from an investment in the Fund for the Outcome Period. Therefore, even though a Fund’s returns are based upon the S&P 500, if the Fund experiences returns for the Outcome Period in excess of the Cap, you will not experience those excess gains but will remain vulnerable to significant downside risks. Regardless of the performance of the S&P 500, the Cap is the maximum return an investor can achieve from an investment in the Fund for the Outcome Period. The Cap will change from year-to-year based upon prevailing market conditions at the beginning of the Outcome Period. The Cap, and the Fund’s position relative to it, should be considered before investing in the Fund.