2014 was a great year for new ETFs, as more than 185 new funds hit the market, with one even coming out the final day of the year. That new fund was a unique biotech product from ALPS that is sure to catch the eye of investors. On top of ALPS’ launch, Vanguard made a filing for its first-ever municipal bond ETF [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free ETFdb Daily Roundup].
ALPS Debuts Medical Breakthrough ETF
The Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO ) was launched on 12/312014, sneaking in as the final new ETF of the year. The fund invests in an index that is designed to offer exposure to R&D opportunities in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. Biotech, in particular, was a hot sector in 2014, as investors tried to find the next hot stock. SBIO will take a more diversified approach to help investors capture an entire industry with just one ticker.
The fund focuses on small- and mid-cap stocks with approximately 75 stocks in its portfolio at any given time. SBIO charges 50 basis points for investment.
Vanguard Files for Municipal Bond ETF
Vanguard, known for its low-cost approach to ETFs, filed for its first ever municipal bonds fund earlier this week. The ETF will be a share class of the Vanguard Tax-exempt Bond Index Fund. The tax-exempt bond industry is valued at about $140 billion and has long been popular among fixed income investors. The ETF will track the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, which offers exposure to investment-grade municipal bonds from all across the yield curve.
The fund is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2015 with an expense ratio of 0.12%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.