If there’s one thing that most market watchers agree on, it’s that the brick-and-mortar retail business ain’t what it used to be.
As shoppers move online to buy everything from cars to toothbrushes, the traditional retail business model edges closer to extinction. ProShares has built what it calls its “retail disruption” suite of ETFs that are designed to profit from this change to the retail landscape. This week, it adds a third fund to that suite.
Here are this week’s new fund launches:
|Ticker||Name||Issuer||Launch Date||ETFdb.com Category||Expense Ratio|
|(OPER )||ClearShares OPER ETF||ClearShares||07/11/2018||Total Bond Market||0.30%|
|(ONLN )||ProShares Online Retail ETF||ProShares||07/13/2018||Consumer Discretionary Equities||0.58%|
|(QDIV )||Global X S&P 500 Quality Dividend ETF||Global X||07/13/2018||Large Cap Blend Equities||0.35%|
For a list of all new ETF launches, take a look at our ETF Launch Center.
ProShares Launches Online Retail ETF
ProShares already has the ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF (EMTY ) and the ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF (CLIX ) if you want to invest in the fall of traditional retail. Now, you can invest in the rise of the online channel with the ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN ).
As the name suggests, ONLN targets retailers that principally sell online. The fund is fairly concentrated holding just 22 positions, with Amazon (AMZN) and Alibaba (BABA) accounting for roughly 40% of the fund’s assets. The obvious comparison for ONLN is the Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY ). ProShares on the fund’s fact sheet says that ONLN is the “first ETF focused exclusively on retailers that principally sell online”. It makes this claim based on the fact that IBUY includes some travel services companies, such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, that ProShares does not consider pure retail. ONLN will also be undercutting IBUY on price. Its 0.58% expense slightly bests IBUY’s 0.65%.
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Global X Targets Quality and High Yield
Global X operates more than 50 different ETFs focused mainly on certain countries, themes or sectors. This week, the company moves outside of its traditional brand with the launch of the Global X S&P 500 Quality Dividend ETF (QDIV ).
Global X slots QDIV into its “SuperDividend” ETF category. It invests in U.S. equity securities included in the S&P 500 that rank within the top 200 of the index’s universe by both quality score and dividend yield. By requiring companies to be in the top 40% in both categories, the fund has narrowed the broader index down to 82 qualifying stocks that get equal-weighted and rebalanced on a semiannual basis.
The company defines quality by looking at measures, such as return on equity, accruals ratio, and financial leverage. Income investors may find QDIV especially appealing since it anticipates making dividend distributions on a monthly basis. While the fund hasn’t yet published a dividend yield, the fund’s underlying index has an indicated yield of 3.1%.
ClearShares Offers an Alternative to Cash
ClearShares brings its second ETF to market with the debut of the ClearShares OPER ETF (OPER ). The company advertises the fund as an alternative to lower-yielding cash, CDs and money market products.
OPER is an actively managed fund that mainly invests in repurchase agreements, or repos, that are collateralized by U.S. government securities and other fixed-income instruments. Repos are agreements where one party sells a security to another with the intent of repurchasing it back at a later time, usually overnight. Many financial institutions use repos as an ultra short-term loan. Since these securities are government-issued and have very short lifespans, they are considered very conservative investments.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the current secured overnight financing rate is around 1.9%. OPER has an expense ratio of 0.30%.
The Bottom Line
The online retail sector has been booming lately, both in consumer spending trends and in share prices. Thanks to Amazon and other names, online retail ETFs have doubled the performance of the S&P 500 over the past few years. Global X’s launch of QDIV is unique to its product lineup, but investors in the past couple of months have shown a willingness to give low volatility, yield-focused ETFs another try. QDIV could be launching at an ideal time. As interest rates continue to rise, floating-rate bond products have become popular among income seekers. OPER could be an intriguing choice for investors looking for a little yield boost without exposing themselves to much risk.
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