This Week in ETFs: New ETFs in a Slump; Closures Thrive

For the second week in a row, launches of new ETFs have been sluggish, to say the least. Granted, the five launches that took place this past week were more than the two that launched in the week ended April 19. The Passover holiday was likely a contributing factor to this slowdown. However, unlike last week, there was quite a bit of activity, especially around closures, which include one of the shortest fund life spans seen in the ETF industry.

YieldMax launched a bitcoin options strategy ETF, and there were additional rollouts from Themes and FT Vest, as well as newcomer Optimize Financial.

Additional New ETFs

The two FT Vest launches were for funds providing buffered exposure to ETFs tied to the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 indexes. The FT Vest Nasdaq-100 Conservative Buffer ETF – April (QCAP) looks to deliver the price return of the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) up to a preexpenses cap of 15.21%, while protecting against the first 20% of losses.

Meanwhile, the FT Vest U.S. Equity Enhance & Moderate Buffer ETF – April (XAPR) aims to double any upside price return of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) up to a preexpenses cap of 12.02% while protecting against the first 15% of downside performance.

Both funds list on the Cboe BZX Exchange, with QCAP charging a net expense ratio of 0.90% and XAPR charging 0.85%.

Optimize debuted its first ETF, the Optimize Strategy Index ETF (OPTZ), which tracks an in-house index. The index’s underlying model focuses on quality and momentum factors to select its holdings. The fund lists on the Nasdaq Stock Market with an expense ratio of 0.50%.

Finally, Themes, also relatively new to the ETF industry, unveiled the Themes Robotics & Automation ETF (BOTT) on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The fund tracks an index targeting companies from developed markets that are involved in robotics and automation for industrial purposes, with 30 securities ultimately included in the benchmark. BOTT has an expense ratio of 0.35%.


It was a very busy week for closures, with several funds ceasing to trade and other shutdowns announced for the future. The funds that are no longer trading after this week include the following:

The Opportunistic Trader ETF (WZRD), which launched in late March of this year, has likely set a record for shortest trading life span. The fund is now set to cease trading after the market close on May 8. Although there has been an uptick in funds opening and closing within the same calendar year in recent years, a fund opening and closing in less than two months is virtually unheard of.

The Defiance Israel Fixed Income ETF (CHAI) will see its final day of trading on May 10, while the Capital Link Global Fintech Leaders ETF (KOIN) will no longer trade after the market close on May 22. In June, the Harvest Brand Leaders Enhanced Income ETF (HBFE) and the Harvest Canadian Equity Enhanced Income Leaders ETF (HLFE) will cease to trade after June 25.

Beyond New ETFs & Closures

Two funds have seen or will undergo material changes. As of this week, the Astoria US Quality Kings ETF is now known as the Astoria US Equal Weight Quality Kings ETF (ROE). And around June 28, the Columbia Emerging Markets Consumer ETF (ECON) will change its name to the Columbia Research Enhanced Emerging Economies ETF. ECON’s index will change at the same time from the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Consumer Titans Index to Beta Advantage Research Enhanced Solactive Emerging Economies Index.

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