Can You Spot a Doomed ETF?
In an article from InvestmentNews, Jessica Toonkel writes, that with fund firms launching a seemingly endless parade of exchange-traded funds, a dark side to this glut of offerings is emerging. Portfolio liquidations, once rare, are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Some are saying they are more than a little worried about getting stuck in an ETF that ends up being shut down.
“With the proliferation of ETFs, this is becoming a greater concern,” said Sailesh S. Radha, a vice president at CCM Investment Advisers LLC, a registered investment advisory firm that manages $2.5 billion in assets, speaking to InvestmentNews at IndexUniverse’s conference Monday. For advisory firms such as CCM, which has a $20 million country rotation portfolio, choosing the right fund is vital to keeping clients’ trust. “Telling an investor than an ETF is shutting down is not news you want to give them,” Mr. Radha said.
As more advisers rush into sector-based ETFs, the chance of being in a fund that closes is on the rise. In 2007, a mere 10 ETFs closed. Over the past three years, 150 have been shut down, according to Ron Rowland, president of Capital Cities Asset Management Inc. That works out to about one ETF vaporizing each week.
Investors want to know how an adviser can spot trouble before it strikes? Mr. Rowland, who puts out a monthly column about ETFs that might close in his Invest with an Edge newsletter, said: “There is no specific sector that is usually represented in the list. But it’s a lot of smaller ETFs.”
This asset manager also noted that funds headed for trouble tend to have a similar profile. An ETF that has been around for about 28 months and has less than $10 million in assets should raise a red flag for advisers, Mr. Rowland said. He gives new ETFs a six-month grace period to gain assets before they become eligible for his ETF deathwatch.
The advisers also should pay attention to how an ETF is trading and if the fund is best-in-class, said Matt Hougan, president of ETF analytics at IndexUniverse. An ETF’s assets may be puny, but if it’s one of the few funds in an asset class that is poised to take off, it may stick around longer, he explained.
Paying attention to how long an ETF has been on the store shelf is also important. “No one launches ETFs, then closes them a couple months later, except for Northern Trust [Corp.],” Mr. Hougan said, taking a jab at the Chicago-based firm, which closed 17 ETFs last February only 11 months after launching them.
Your advisers also should take note of the investment adviser for the funds. If the firm manages a large number of profitable funds, it could buy additional time for laggards, said one executive at an ETF company, who asked not to be identified. “As long as you have a few ETFs that are the money makers, you can afford to have a few that take longer to gain assets,” the exec said.
When the ETF providers terminate funds, they often put out a press release and let investors know that the liquidation will take place in three to four weeks, experts at the conference said. Often the providers will encourage investors to stay in the funds until they are liquidated, at which time the providers will pay the investors back. Mr. Rowland warned investors against being swayed by this pitch.
“The sales hook is that if you go with them through the liquidation, you save yourself the commission,” he said. “But the risks far outweigh the savings.”
Many ETFs hit investors with a termination fee. Also, fund operators often start liquidating ETFs slowly, which can lead to tracking errors during the wind-down period, Mr. Rowland said.
Sticking with a fund through liquidation could cause advisers to lose an opportunity to put their money somewhere else. “You usually get your money back within six to 10 days of liquidation,” Mr. Rowland said. “However, you have to wait those six to 10 days, and you may have lost an opportunity to employ that cash elsewhere.”
If you had invested in Leveraged and Inverse ETFs and lost money, you may have valuable legal rights to be compensated for your losses. Call a Securities arbitration lawyer for a free consultation on how to ecover your losses. To speak with an attorney, call 888-760-6552, or visit www.stockmarketlawsuit.com. Soreide Law Group, PLLC., representing investors nationwide before FINRA the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
doomed etfs · EFT termination fees · ETF · etf losses · ETFs · Financial Industry Regulatory Authority · FINRA · finra lawyer · finra securities arbitration · finra securities arbitration lawyer · Ft. Lauderdale Securities Lawyer · investment fraud · Leveraged ETFs · leveraged inverse ETF's · liquidating ETFs · liquidating funds · portfolio liquidations · private placement fraud · private placement losses · securities arbitraton lawyer · securities fraud lawyer · Soreide Law Group PLLC · stockbroker misconduct · unauthorized trades