More than 60 new
have entered the arena since the start of the year, and as the
midway point in in 2013 approaches, it's time for a routine check
to see how the newest players are faring in gathering assets under
Bond funds have been the hot-ticket investment vehicles this
year, as easing monetary policies throughout the world pushed
borrowing rates into the dirt until recently. In addition,
high-yielding master limited partnerships have piqued plenty of
interest from the ETF investor world. Dividend strategies have
remained attractive, too.
The salient theme among the 10 most successful new fund launches
of 2013 in two words would be "actively managed."
Of the funds that have launched in 2013, the top asset gainers
are all a spin on one of these popular strategies, and the majority
of the funds are actively managed.
In reverse order, here are the biggest asset gainers of new ETFs
so far in 2013, according to IndexUniverse data.
Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond
The Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond fund
(NYSEArca:VWOB) serves up access to emerging market debt at a time
when investors are searching for higher yield. VWOB has pulled in
$71 million since it launched at the end of May.
Cambria Shareholder Yield
One-month-old Cambria Shareholder Yield fund (NYSEArca:SYLD) is
a high-yielding active fund, combining the payout of dividend
stocks with the popular payout strategy of share buybacks. At only
59 basis points, the actively managed fund is competitive in terms
of expense ratios. Its cheap price tag, coupled with a compelling
yield strategy, has surely helped it scoop up $76 million since it
launched in May.
First Trust Preferred Securities and Income
The actively managed First Trust Preferred Securities and Income
fund (NYSEArca:FPE) promises a dividend yield of around 5.5
percent, and that's attractive. Plus, it's the first fund of its
kind, combining active management with a preferred stock portfolio.
Investors are keen on preferred stocks because they trade like an
equity but offer the steady distribution of a corporate bond. First
Trust pioneered something solid with FPE; it's grabbed almost $80
million in just four months.
AdvisorShares Newfleet Multi-Sector Income
When the AdvisorShares Newfleet Multi-Sector Income ETF
(NYSEArca:MINC) entered the market in March of this year, there was
skepticism regarding how it could compete with similar funds like
Pimco's Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy ETF (NYSEArca:MINT), which
has almost half the expense ratio of MINC.
MINC is diversified across 14 different bond sectors, and it's
actively managed. Plus, it has global and domestic reach. These
factors set it apart from competition like MINT, and while MINT has
$3.38 billion in AUM compared with MINC's $84 million, with just
three months of trading under its belt, it's fair to say MINC has
made a splash in the bond sphere.
Name:Barclays ETN+ Select MLP ETN
The Barclays ETN+ Select MLP ETN (NYSEArca:ATMP), which launched
in March of this year and comes in second place on the list of 2013
launches, has a dividend yield of 1.03 percent and $136.5 million
Paul Baiocchi, senior ETF specialist at IndexUniverse, explains
that an MLP ETN tracks an index of master limited partnerships
which are pass-through vehicles that transport, process and store
energy products and typically pay big yields. Baiocchi goes on to
explain that the Barclays ETN does not hold any MLPs; rather, it
promises to provide the return of an index of MLPs.
"MLP ETNs are unique in that they usually pay coupon payments
made to replicate the distributions of the MLPs in the indexes they
track," concluded Baiocchi.
And the winner is…
Name:SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan
The champion of asset gatherers for 2013's new funds to date is
the SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan fund (NYSEArca:SRLN). SRLN is
what IndexUniverse Senior ETF Specialist Paul Baiocchi calls, "A
perfect case for active management." SRLN is two months old and
holds $279 million in assets. Why? It's one of a kind, and it
Not only are actively managed fund success stories hard to come
by, but an actively managed senior loan ETF has yet to be seen.
However, it's working because, as Baiocchi put it, "As rates go up,
so too do yields on senior loans. Of course, there's the potential
for a lag-as long as three months-but the allure of higher,
market-adjusting yields is clearly striking a chord for many
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