The ETP Death Toll surged 168% to 102 in 2012 with 82 ETFs and 20 ETNs seeing their last day of US-listed trading during the year.  The quantity easily establishes a new record, swamping the prior high of 58 established four years ago in 2008.  The lifetime count reached 300 in October and now stands at 313.

Closures affected 15 different brands.  FocusShares was the only sponsor to make a 100% exit from the marketplace, making it the second time the firm took such drastic action.  Its first occurrence was in 2008.  Russell came close to a complete exit, closing 25 of its 26 ETFs.

Most of the closures had become Zombie ETFs, and 78 were on ETF Deathwatch at the time of their closure announcements.  Typically, closures are the result of failing to attract enough assets, and in turn, not generating enough revenue for the sponsor.  There were some exceptions, like the triggering of an early termination event to prevent the price from going to zero.  Three products had graceful closings due to reaching their planned maturity and liquidation dates.

The average age of funds that closed in 2012 was 20.3 months (1.8 years).  This is less than the 26.4-month average lifespan of all 313 closed products, suggesting that sponsors are possibly becoming less willing to subsidize non-profitable funds for extended periods.

The table below is sorted by product name.  Additional data columns include the last day of trading and whether the product was on ETF Deathwatch at the time its closure was announced.


ETF and ETN Closures of 2012

#TickerNameLast DayDeathwatchNotes
1DENTAdvisorShares Dent Tactical ETF08/08/2012Yes1
2FXMCurrencyShares Mexican Peso Trust03/23/2012-
3FXRUCurrencyShares Russian Ruble Shares03/23/2012Yes
4COWSDirexion Daily Agribusiness Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
5COWLDirexion Daily Agribusiness Bull 3x09/05/2012Yes
6MATSDirexion Daily Basic Materials Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
7BRISDirexion Daily BRIC Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
8BRILDirexion Daily BRIC Bull 3x09/05/2012Yes
9SICKDirexion Daily Healthcare Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
10INDZDirexion Daily India Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
11LHBDirexion Daily Latin America Bear 3x09/05/2012-
12RETSDirexion Daily Retail Bear 3x09/05/2012Yes
13VXAAETRACS 1-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
14VXBBETRACS 2-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
15VXCCETRACS 3-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
16VXDDETRACS 4-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
17VXEEETRACS 5-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
18VXFFETRACS 6-Month S&P 500 VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
19AAVXETRACS Daily Short 1-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012-
20BBVXETRACS Daily Short 2-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012-
21CCVXETRACS Daily Short 3-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012-
22DDVXETRACS Daily Short 4-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
23EEVXETRACS Daily Short 5-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
24FFVXETRACS Daily Short 6-Month S&P VIX Futures ETN09/11/2012Yes
25FBMFocus Morningstar Basic Materials Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
26FCQFocus Morningstar Communication Srvcs ETF08/17/2012Yes
27FCLFocus Morningstar Consumer Cyclical ETF08/17/2012Yes
28FCDFocus Morningstar Consumer Defensive ETF08/17/2012Yes
29FEGFocus Morningstar Energy Index ETF08/17/2012-
30FFLFocus Morningstar Financial Services ETF08/17/2012Yes
31FHCFocus Morningstar Health Care Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
32FILFocus Morningstar Industrials Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
33FLGFocus Morningstar Large Cap Index ETF08/17/2012-
34FMMFocus Morningstar Mid Cap Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
35FRLFocus Morningstar Real Estate Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
36FOSFocus Morningstar Small Cap Index ETF08/17/2012-
37FTQFocus Morningstar Technology Index ETF08/17/2012-
38FMUFocus Morningstar US Market Index ETF08/17/2012-
39FUIFocus Morningstar Utilities Index ETF08/17/2012Yes
40ALUMGlobal X Aluminum ETF10/18/2012Yes
41VROMGlobal X Auto ETF10/18/2012Yes
42BARNGlobal X Farming ETF02/16/2012n/a4
43FISNGlobal X Fishing Industry ETF02/16/2012Yes
44EATXGlobal X Food ETF02/16/2012Yes
45MEXSGlobal X Mexico Small-Cap ETF02/16/2012Yes
46QQQMGlobal X NASDAQ 400 Mid Cap ETF10/18/2012Yes
47QQQVGlobal X NASDAQ 500 ETF10/18/2012Yes
48XOILGlobal X Oil Equities ETF02/16/2012Yes
49EMGXGlobal X Russell Emerging Markets Growth ETF02/16/2012Yes
50EMVXGlobal X Russell Emerging Markets Value ETF02/16/2012Yes
51WSTEGlobal X Waste Management ETF02/16/2012Yes
52BSCCGuggenheim BulletShares 2012 Corp Bond12/28/2012-2
53BSJCGuggenheim BulletShares 2012 HY Bond12/28/2012-2
54EENGuggenheim EW Euro-Pacific LDRs ETF03/23/2012Yes
55XGCGuggenheim International Small Cap LDRs03/23/2012Yes
56EWACGuggenheim MSCI ACWI Equal Weight ETF03/23/2012Yes
57OTRGuggenheim Ocean Tomo Growth Index ETF03/23/2012-
58OTPGuggenheim Ocean Tomo Patent ETF03/23/2012Yes
59XROGuggenheim Sector Rotation ETF03/23/2012Yes
60VZZBiPath Long Enh 2x S&P 500 VIX M-T Fut ETN10/14/2012Yes3
61ROSAiPath Short Ext -3x Russell 1000 TR ETN09/13/2012Yes3
62RTSAiPath Short Ext -3x Russell 2000 TR ETN09/19/2012-3
63SFSAiPath Short Ext -3x S&P 500 TR Index ETN09/13/2012-3
64EMERIQ Emerging Markets Mid Cap ETF12/18/2012Yes
65SKORIQ South Korea Small Cap ETF08/17/2012Yes
66MUAAiShares 2012 S&P AMT-Free Muni Series08/15/2012-2
67WCATJefferies|TR/J CRB Wildcatters Expl & Prod04/27/2012-
68BTAHQuantShares U.S. Market Neutral High Beta11/02/2012Yes
69QLTQuantShares U.S. Market Neutral Quality11/02/2012Yes
70NOMOQuantShares U.S. Mkt Neutral Anti-Momentum11/02/2012Yes
71HBTARussell 1000 High Beta ETF10/16/2012Yes
72HMTMRussell 1000 High Momentum ETF10/16/2012Yes
73HVOLRussell 1000 High Volatility ETF10/16/2012Yes
74LBTARussell 1000 Low Beta ETF10/16/2012-
75LVOLRussell 1000 Low Volatility ETF10/16/2012-
76SHBTRussell 2000 High Beta ETF10/16/2012Yes
77SHMORussell 2000 High Momentum ETF10/16/2012Yes
78SHVYRussell 2000 High Volatility ETF10/16/2012Yes
79SLBTRussell 2000 Low Beta ETF10/16/2012Yes
80SLVYRussell 2000 Low Volatility ETF10/16/2012Yes
81AGRGRussell Aggressive Growth ETF10/16/2012Yes
82CONGRussell Consistent Growth ETF10/16/2012-
83CNTRRussell Contrarian ETF10/16/2012Yes
84XHMORussell Developed ex-U.S. High Momentum10/16/2012Yes
85XLBTRussell Developed ex-U.S. Low Beta ETF10/16/2012Yes
86XLVORussell Developed ex-U.S. Low Volatility ETF10/16/2012Yes
87EQINRussell Equity Income ETF10/16/2012-
88GRPCRussell Growth at a Reasonable Price ETF10/16/2012-
89HDIVRussell High Dividend Yield ETF10/16/2012-
90LWPERussell Low P/E ETF10/04/2012Yes
91SGGGRussell Small Cap Aggressive Growth ETF10/16/2012Yes
92SCOGRussell Small Cap Consistent Growth ETF10/16/2012Yes
93SCTRRussell Small Cap Contrarian ETF10/05/2012Yes
94DIVSRussell Small Cap High Dividend Yield ETF10/16/2012Yes
95SCLPRussell Small Cap Low P/E ETF10/16/2012Yes
96SCPRVelocityShares 2x Inverse Copper ETN12/31/2012Yes
97IPALVelocityShares 2x Inverse Palladium ETN12/28/2012Yes
98LCPRVelocityShares 2x Long Copper ETN12/31/2012Yes
99LPALVelocityShares 2x Long Palladium ETN12/28/2012Yes
100JYFWisdomTree Dreyfus Japan Yen12/03/2012Yes1
101SZRWisdomTree Dreyfus S. African Rand12/03/2012Yes1
102ROIWisdomTree LargeCap Growth12/03/2012Yes
Notes: 1) actively managed, 2) reached planned maturity, 3) hit early termination trigger, 4) less than 6 months at time of closure announcement.  All exchange traded notes are identified with “ETN” as part of their name description.


Additional resources:

Disclosure covering writer, editor, publisher, and affiliates: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.  No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.