ETF Deathwatch for November 2012: List Shrinks As Deaths Increase

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Commentary, ETF Deathwatch, ETF Deathwatch 2012

The quantity of products on ETF Deathwatch for November shrunk by nineteen compared to a month ago.  However, readers should not assume this is the result of an improved ETF landscape.  Instead, it’s because ETFs and ETNs are actually dying and closing.  The changes for November consist of just eight products coming off the list due to an increase in their assets or trading activity.  Thirteen new additions more than offset the eight coming off.  The major difference lies with the twenty-four ETPs that were removed because they were among the thirty that met their demise and closed during October.

This month’s ETF Deathwatch contains 375 (275 ETFs and 100 ETNs) names out of the 1,439 products listed for trading.  October was a notable month for our poster-child of Zombie ETFs, the iPath Long Enhanced MSCI EAFE ETN (MFLA), which had its first trade since January 18.  MFLA trading has totaled only 1,100 shares the past nine months, for an annualized pace of less than 1,500 per year.  At this rate, it will take more than 16 years to accumulate a redemption unit of 25,000 notes.  However, MLFA is scheduled to mature in eight years.

PowerShares Dynamic OTC (PWO) is a somewhat surprising addition to this month’s list.  PWO launched in May 2003, and there are only 112 older ETFs still trading today.  The fund’s assets quickly grew to more than $185 million in 2005 but today are less than $25 million.  Trading activity is nearly non-existent, as PWO now records many zero-volume days.  This product should serve as a reminder to all ETF sponsors that achieving success does not equate to keeping success.

The Complete List of 375 Products on ETF Deathwatch for November 2012.


The 13 ETPs added to ETF Deathwatch for November:

  1. Direxion NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted (QQQE)
  2. EGShares China Infrastructure ETF (CHXX)
  3. ETRACS DJ-UBS Com 2-4-6 Blended Futures ETN (BLND)
  4. Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF (AND)
  5. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Value (EVAL)
  6. iShares Utilities Sector Bond (AMPS)
  7. Market Vectors LatAm Aggregate Bond ETF (BONO)
  8. Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT)
  9. PowerShares Dynamic OTC (PWO)
  10. ProShares UltraShort Consumer Services (SCC)
  11. RBS China Trendpilot ETN (TCHI)
  12. SPDR SSgA Multi-Asset Global Allocation (GAL)
  13. United States Agriculture Index Fund (USAG)


The 8 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3x (GASX)
  2. ETRACS Alerian Natural Gas MLP ETN (MLPG)
  3. iPath Pure Beta Cocoa ETN (CHOC)
  4. iShares S&P Target Date 2030 Index Fund (TZL)
  5. Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ)
  6. ProShares Ultra Investment Grade Corporate (IGU)
  7. SPDR Nuveen S&P VRDO Municipal Bond ETF (VRD)
  8. Vanguard Russell 2000 Value ETF (VTWV)


The 24 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to death and delisting:

  1. Global X Aluminum ETF (ALUM)
  2. Global X Auto ETF (VROM)
  3. Global X NASDAQ 400 Mid Cap ETF (QQQM)
  4. Global X NASDAQ 500 ETF (QQQV)
  5. iPath Long Enhanced S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (VZZB)
  6. Russell 1000 High Beta ETF (HBTA)
  7. Russell 1000 High Momentum ETF (HMTM)
  8. Russell 1000 High Volatility ETF (HVOL)
  9. Russell 2000 High Beta ETF (SHBT)
  10. Russell 2000 High Momentum ETF (SHMO)
  11. Russell 2000 High Volatility ETF (SHVY)
  12. Russell 2000 Low Beta ETF (SLBT)
  13. Russell 2000 Low Volatility ETF (SLVY)
  14. Russell Aggressive Growth ETF (AGRG)
  15. Russell Contrarian ETF (CNTR)
  16. Russell Developed ex-U.S. High Momentum (XHMO)
  17. Russell Developed ex-U.S. Low Beta ETF (XLBT)
  18. Russell Developed ex-U.S. Low Volatility ETF (XLVO)
  19. Russell Low P/E ETF (LWPE)
  20. Russell Small Cap Aggressive Growth ETF (SGGG)
  21. Russell Small Cap Consistent Growth ETF (SCOG)
  22. Russell Small Cap High Dividend Yield ETF (DIVS)
  23. Russell Small Cap Contrarian ETF (SCTR)
  24. Russell Small Cap Low P/E ETF (SCLP)


Additional Data/Resources:

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: 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.


2 Responses to “ETF Deathwatch for November 2012: List Shrinks As Deaths Increase”

  1. Salil V Gangal on November 18th, 2012 12:54 pm

    Hello Ron,

    I am a little confused about removal of “Market Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ)” from the deathwatch list.

    To the best I can judge there is no improvement in health, so far as AUM is concerned. List for October 2012 shows the AUM as 12 millions. Just now I checked at Van Eck’s site and they are reporting the AUM figure to be 7.7 millions.

    What has improved with “RSXJ”?

    - Salil

  2. Ron Rowland on November 19th, 2012 10:40 am

    RSXJ came off the list because it had three consecutive months where Average Daily Value Traded exceeded $100,000. Figures were $162k for August, $326k for September, and $367k for October.

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