The free ETF screener maintained by ETF Database has been updated to include features for investors looking to identify products offering exposure to alternatives, an asset class that has seen a surge in interest in recent years. There is now an option to set the desired asset class in the ETF screener to Alternatives; making that selection will display an additional filter to screen by alternatives type, as well as various other fields such as expense ratio, leverage factor, and performance.
The ETF screener allows investors to identify U.S.-listed ETFs that fall into several different sub-categories within the alternatives asset class:
- 130/30 (2 ETPs)
- BuyWrite (2 ETPs)
- Hedge Fund (3 ETPs)
- Inverse Volatility (4 ETPs)
- Long/Short (4 ETPs)
- Managed Futures (2 ETPs)
- Merger Arbitrage (3 ETPs)
- Mid Term Volatility (8 ETPs)
- Real Return (2 ETPs)
- Short Term Volatility (4 ETPs)
Alternatives ETFs In Focus
While the majority of ETF assets are in products focusing on traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds, funds offering exposure to alternative strategies have become increasingly popular in recent years. The “alternatives” umbrella can include a number of different types of securities and strategies, but is generally meant to include those that exhibit low correlations with equities and fixed income.
The evolution of the ETF industry has no doubt been responsible for increased interest in alternatives in the asset allocation process. Many of the strategies highlighted above have been “democratized” by innovation in the space in recent years; these strategies have historically been beyond the reach of many smaller investors, but the combination of these techniques with the exchange-traded structure has made them accessible to just about anyone.
Currently, there are 34 exchange-traded products classified as Alternatives in the ETF screener, including the recently-launched HDG and XVZ. These nearly three dozen products have aggregate assets of almost $4 billion, highlighting the impressive growth this corner of the ETF industry has seen in recent years.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.