December was another slow month for ETF growth, as many investors were still trying to brace for the fiscal cliff, and by the end of the month many were not focused on markets, but taking time off to be with family and friends around the holidays [for updates on all new ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].
The re-election of President Obama in November and the looming fiscal cliff has brought a lot of confusion to the general market, which may have played a part in the ETF slowdown, along with the lowered consumer confidence. Four funds left the market, but the real excitement this month was in the filings of three funds and five funds entering the market [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
- PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged Portfolio (PHDG): PowerShares launched PHDG earlier this month, for investors who want to hedge their risk of the market falling apart like it has in the past.
- FlexShares Quality Dividend Index Fund (QDF), Dividend Defensive Index Fund (QDEF) and Dividend Dynamic Index Fund (QDYN): FlexShares Rolls Out 3 Dividend ETFs to add to this growing asset class, with a variety of focuses for just about every kind of current income investor.
A number of filings for new products hit the wire in November, many of which could begin trading in the fourth quarter:
- StateStreet made plans to revive some of the Russell index funds that were closed earlier this year due to lack of interest.
- Fidelity has also filed its first active fund this month, hoping to capitalize on investor interests in corporate debt.
While some ETFs closed this month due to lack of investments, others had reached maturity and were retired to make way for the new:
- WisdomTree liquidated three ETFs on December 3: Dreyfus Japanese Yen Fund (JYF), Dreyfus South African Rand Fund (SZR) and LargeCap Growth Fund (ROI).
- Index IQ said goodbye to the IQ Emerging Markets MidCap ETF (EMER) on December 18.
- Guggenheim saw the maturity of two of its funds on December 31: BulletShares 2012 Corporate Bond (BSCC), High Yield Corporate Bond (BSJC).
- VelocityShares will close its doors on four funds December 31: 2x Long Palladium ETN (LPAL), 2x Inverse Palladium ETN (IPAL), 2x Long Copper ETN (LCPR) and 2x Inverse Copper ETN (SCPR).
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.