April was somewhat of a calming month for markets, as geopolitical concerns took a back seat to earnings reports and a relatively uneventful Federal Reserve meeting. This month saw two of the world’s most popular commodities, oil and gold, soar to levels not seen since before the market crashed in 2008. In fact, gold is at a historic high, settling at well over $1,500 per ounce as April came to a close. Along with busy markets, the ETF world saw a surge in activity the past four weeks in what is arguably the busiest month ever for the exchange traded industry. April saw the introduction of 43 new funds with plenty of filings to go with it, giving investors plenty of new options to sort through in the coming weeks.
ETFs that began trading in April include:
- Van Eck launched the Market Vectors Germany Small-Cap ETF (GERJ), making it the first ETF to fully dedicate its assets to the small cap firms of this powerhouse economy. Next, Van Eck rolled out another unique fund with the Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ), another ETF that is the first of its kind. As the month came to a close, the issuer also released the Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF (FLTR) to further diversify the fixed income space [see Van Eck Launches Small Cap Germany ETF (GERJ)].
- ProShares also had a busy month, starting things off by releasing the Short 7-10 Year Treasury ETF (TBX) and the UltraShort 3-7 Year Treasury ETF (TBZ). The issuer then further continued its plunge into the fixed income space by debuting two leveraged bond products: ProShares Ultra Investment Grade (IGU) and ProShares Ultra High Yield (UJB) [see ProShares Debuts Two Leveraged Bond ETFs].
- State Street also threw their hat into the new ETF ring when the SPDR Barclays Capital Issuer Scored Corporate Bond ETF (CBND) launched. This ETF will track an index of U.S. dollar denominated corporate issues that are rated investment grade (Baa3/BBB- or higher) by at least two of the big three ratings agencies. Later in the month, the SPDR Nuveen S&P High Yield Municipal Bond ETF (HYMB) made its debut. HYMB aims to generate high yield for investors by replicating a benchmark that consists of bonds issued by U.S. states and territories, local governments or agencies, that are rated below investment grade [see State Street Launches High Yield Muni Bond Fund (HYMB)].
- Global X also added an interesting ETF this month, allowing investors to gain exchange traded exposure to a whole new market segment: trash. The Waste Management ETF (WSTE) will follow an index that measures waste management firms from all around the world. The investment thesis behind this fund is pretty simple; as the world’s population continues to rapidly expand, so too will our trash piles, creating an increasing demand for the services these companies offer [see Investing In Garbage: Global X Launches Waste Management ETF (WSTE)].
- First Trust had a busy month, releasing a total of nine new international ETFs, and four U.S. equity products. The list of new funds is as follows: Asia Pacific Ex-Japan AlphaDEX Fund (FPA), Europe AlphaDEX Fund (FEP), Latin America AlphaDEX Fund (FLN), Brazil AlphaDEX Fund (FBZ), China AlphaDEX Fund (FCA), Japan AlphaDEX Fund (FJP), South Korea AlphaDEX Fund (FKO), Developed Markets Ex-US AlphaDEX Fund (FDT), Emerging Markets AlphaDEX Fund (FEM), Mid Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FNY), Mid Cap Value AlphaDEX Fund (FNK), Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (FYC), and the Small Cap Value AlphaDEX Fund (FYT) [see First Trust Rolls Out International AlphaDEX ETFs].
- While First Trust and other firms rolled out a slew of new products, Barclays iPath had the final say by launching 19 new, commodity-based, ETFs: Pure Beta S&P GSCI-Weighted ETN (SBV), Pure Beta Broad Commodity ETN (BCM), Pure Beta Crude Oil ETN (OLEM), Pure Beta Agriculture ETN (DIRT), Pure Beta Grains ETN (WEET), Pure Beta Copper ETN (CUPM), Pure Beta Nickel ETN (NINI), Pure Beta Livestock ETN (LSTK), Pure Beta Energy ETN (ONG), Pure Beta Industrial Metals ETN (HEVY), Pure Beta Sugar ETN (SGAR), Pure Beta Softs ETN (GRWN), Pure Beta Precious Metals ETN (BLNG), Pure Beta Lead ETN (LEDD), Pure Beta Cotton ETN (CTNN), Pure Beta Coffee ETN (CAFE), Pure Beta Cocoa ETN (CHOC), Pure Beta Aluminum ETN (FOIL), and the Seasonal Natural Gas ETN (DCNG) [see iPath Rolls Out 18 “Pure Beta” Commodity ETNs].
April saw a fair amount of filings, keeping the ETF pipeline full. Below we outline funds proposed in the past four weeks:
- Along with launching several new funds this month, Van Eck announced plans to bring to market the first ever ETF dedicated entirely to the Japanese bond market. The proposed fund will heavily focus on corporate debt, as Japanese government bonds will not make up more than 25% of the product [see Market Vectors Planning Japanese Bond ETF].
- State Street announced plans to enter the active ETF space, with six proposed funds: SSgA Real Assets ETF, SSgA Income Opportunities ETF, SSgA Conservative Allocation ETF, SSgA Moderate Allocation ETF, SSgA Aggressive Allocation ETF, and the SSgA Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan ETF [see State Street Plans Active ETFs].
- iShares added two more products to its pipeline, unveiling plans for fundss that will offer low volatility exposure to equities [see iShares Files For Minimum Volatility ETFs].
- AdvisorShares debuted plans for a new actively managed fund, the Rockledge SectorSAM ETF (SSAM). The product will seek to generate stable and consistent annual returns under all market conditions [see AdvisorShares Plans SectorSAM ETF].
- Aside from launching a Waste Management ETF, Global X also proposed two MLP ETFs this month. The two tentative funds will be the Global X MLP Infrastructure ETF, and the Global X MLP Natural Gas ETF [see Global X Proposes Two MLP ETFs].
- PIMCO shook up the exchange traded world when it announces plans to launch an ETF version of its Total Return Fund, the largest bond fund in the world [see Active ETF Blockbuster: PIMCO Files For Total Return Fund].
- Last but not least, Teucrium closed out the month by detailing plans for a unique commodity fund. The proposed Teucrium Agriculture Fund (TAGS) will be made up of four different Teucrium ETFs to create a never before seen commodity product [see Teucrium Plans A Different Kind Of Commodity ETF].
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.