The major sponsors of ETFs have billions of dollars in assets. Chances are you regularly hear about their latest fund offerings.
At the other end of the market are these ETFs, which (as of today) are the sole offerings of their sponsors. Many, if not all, of these sponsors are planning additional ETF products.
Should you consider a standalone ETF for your clients?
On the plus side, to launch a single ETF, a sponsor needs an idea that isn’t a clone of something already in the market. That doesn’t mean it will be the best investment strategy ever devised, but at least it won’t be an idea that you’ve already seen a dozen times.
And, if you have questions about the product, there’s a good chance the sponsor will get back to you rather quickly. Companies new to the ETF space need your business and usually are willing to work hard to get it.
Of course, there are negatives associated with smaller ETFs. A new product may have more limited liquidity. That means it will trade with wider spreads, so you may want to buy or sell with limit orders.
And there are no guarantees of success in the ETF world. If it does not attract enough assets, an ETF (even one from a big sponsor) may close its doors. If that happens, the underlying assets are liquidated and the cash distributed to holders of the defunct ETF. That can produce a gain or loss—what our friends at the IRS call a “taxable event.”
Here are seven standalone ETFs to consider. To see the slideshow version, click here.
Calamos Focus Growth ETF (CFGE) is an actively managed portfolio of blue chip U.S. growth stocks. The ETF is a compact portfolio (recently 44 stocks) of large-cap issues. The strategy is similar to that used in CBCAX, a traditional mutual fund from Calamos Investments. CFGE was launched on July 14, 2014.
Diamond Hill Valuation-Weighted 500 ETF (DHVW) came public as an ETF on May 12, 2015. Before that date, it was a private fund established in December 2011. The ETF is based on a proprietary index that uses discounted cash flow to rank 500 large companies by their intrinsic value capitalization.
Elkhorn S&P 500 Capital Expenditures Portfolio (CAPX) is the first ETF from a firm headed by Ben Fulton, the former managing director of global ETFs at Invesco PowerShares. It tracks an index of the 100 stocks in the S&P 500 that maximize the amount of sales per dollar of capital expenditures. The fund was launched on May 27, 2015.
Franklin Short Duration U.S. Government ETF (FTSD) is currently the only ETF from Franklin Templeton Investments, a major traditional mutual fund shop. But the group is expected to offer some “smart beta” ETFs in the near future. FTSD is actively managed and targets government or agency paper with a duration of three years or less. Recent duration was 1.82 years. Recent yield: 1.03%.
O’Shares FTSE U.S. Quality Dividend ETF (OUSA) was launched on July 14, 2015 by a firm headed by ‘Shark Tank’ investor Kevin O’Leary. Based on the FTSE U.S. Qual/Vol/Yield Factor 5% Capped Index, the passive ETF features stocks across 10 sectors that are selected based on quality, low volatility, and dividend yield. The company plans four more ETFs.
Tortoise North American Pipeline Fund (TPYP) is an ETF that provides access to the performance of pipeline corporations and MLPs in a tax-efficient manner. The fund’s structure avoids K-1s and issues 1099 forms to holders. TPYP, launched this year on June 30, recently contained 102 holdings.
Validea Market Legends ETF (VALX) is an actively managed portfolio that seeks to benefit from the published strategies of investment gurus such as Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham and others. Validea Capital Management runs 17 different models and selects 100 stocks from 10 of them, representing a variety of investment styles.
For the complete data on the funds, click here for the slideshow.