ETF Deathwatch – March 2009

March 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Commentary, ETF Deathwatch 2009

The number of exchange-traded products on Deathwatch jumped to 171, an increase of nearly 12% from a month ago and another new record.  The current list consists of 134 ETFs and 37 ETNs that are at least six months old and failed to have an Average Daily Value Traded (ADVT) of at least $100,000 during the month of February.

SPDR S&P International Consumer Discretionary (IPD) heads up the list for the second month in row.  If you thought trading volume for IPD couldn’t get any worse than the 300 shares in January, then February’s total of 200 shares should prove otherwise.  The shares traded at $15.21, for a total value of $3,042.  The seller probably didn’t want to dump the entire 200 shares on the market at the same time, so the transaction took place in two separate 100-share trades about three minutes apart on the morning of February 23.

As mentioned in earlier issues, it’s not just ETFs that are in trouble; sometimes it’s the entire ETF family.  Northern Trust exited the ETF business in February with the closure of all 17 of their NETS ETFs.  Other sponsors likely to exit the business soon include:

SPA MarketGrader: they have a total of six ETFs and all six are on deathwatch again this month.  Their most “successful” product trades less than 2,000 shares a day for an ADVT of less than $25,000.  Look for SPA to exit the ETF business soon.

MacroShares: they currently have only two products and both are on deathwatch.  MacroShares suffer from design flaws that don’t allow their trading price to properly track the underlying index, making it questionable if MacroShares should be classified as ETFs.  They plan on introducing two more pairs later this year, so it doesn’t appear they are ready to throw in the towel yet.  However, dismal interest in their current products may give them pause.

E-TRACS: they have ten products and nine are on deathwatch.  All ten of their offerings are ETNs, which have their own set of concerns.  The only one showing any signs of success is E-TRACS CMCI Long Platinum Total Return ETN (PTM), which traded nearly $1.9 million per day in February.  Perhaps E-TRACS can sell PTM to another sponsor before shutting down their other ETNs.

Two other sponsors have a large percentage of products in trouble but are likely to remain in the ETF business due to the relative success of their other products.  However, we anticipate a large number of closures from:

Elements: they have 17 products and ten are on deathwatch this month.  Additionally, all their products suffer from the ETN stigma.

Claymore: they currently have 20 products on deathwatch.  However, Claymore is no stranger to the challenges of the ETF market.  They were one of the first companies to close a large number of ETFs, and they will likely have to make that hard decision again soon.  However, don’t count Claymore out as a sponsor; they have launched some great products and will probably do so again.

The deathwatch list below is reserved for U.S. listed ETFs and ETNs at least six months old with an Average Daily Value Traded (ADVT) for the most recent calendar month of less than $100,000 per day.  If you are interested in the other end of the spectrum, the highly traded ETFs, be sure to check out ETF $Billion Club.

ETF Deathwatch - March 2009

RankTickerNameAge (mths)Avg Daily VolumeAvg Daily Value Traded
1IPDSPDR S&P International Consumer Discr711$160
2UBNE-TRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN1132$380
3SNBSPA MarketGrader 2001768$764
4BVLElements Ben Graham Large Cap Value ETN7189$1,177
5SVDSPA MarketGrader Mid Cap 10017137$1,511
6JJTiPath DJ AIG Tin ETN863$1,549
7SIHSPA MarketGrader 10017232$2,707
8BVTElements Ben Graham Total Mkt Value ETN7479$2,803
9SSKSPA MarketGrader Small Cap 10017268$3,045
10UAGE-TRACS CMCI Agriculture TR ETN11168$3,060
11IPNSPDR S&P International Industrial7211$3,288
12IPKSPDR S&P International Technology7247$3,756
13BHHHOLDRS B2B Internet ETF11014,258$3,918
14GCEClaymore CEF Index GS Connect ETN15411$4,597
15PWDPowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe Small Mid17568$5,327
16ROBClaymore/Robb Report Global Luxury19632$5,780
17GWOElements CS Global Warming ETN111,211$5,937
18SZRWisdomTree Dreyfus S. African Rand8300$5,986
19UBCE-TRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return ETN11342$6,572
20UCIE-TRACS CMCI Total Return ETN11468$6,597
21EEHElements Spec LgCap US Sector Mo ETN191,074$7,260
22UEMClaymore U.S.-1-The Capital Markets13189$7,288
23FUDE-TRACS CMCI Food Total Return ETN11405$7,734
24INRMarket Vectors Indian Rupee/USD ETN12226$7,783
25UBDClaymore U.S. Capital Markets Bond ETF13168$7,912
26RHMRydex 2x S&P Health Care8168$7,964
27BJKMarket Vectors Gaming ETF13568$8,143
28OTRClaymore/Ocean Tomo Growth23521$8,229
29CROClaymore/Zacks Country Rotation20758$8,432
30PQYPowerShares Active AlphaQ11589$9,105
31FUEElements MLCX Biofuels ETN131,511$10,125
32BDGPowerShares DB Base Metals Lng ETN9805$10,423
33PTDE-TRACS CMCI Short Platinum Exc Ret ETN10284$10,565
34XGCClaymore/Great Companies Lg-Cap Growth23937$10,569
35DPUPowerShares DB Commodity Long ETN10853$10,673
36BNZWisdomTree Dreyfus New Zealand Dollar8626$11,044
37JFTFirst Trust Enhanced 130/30 Large Cap ETN9579$12,104
38IFNAiShares FTSE NAREIT North America16658$12,437
39WMWElements Mrngstr Wide Moat Focus ETN172,026$12,944
40STHClaymore/Sabrient Stealth301,200$13,188
41SFVSPA MarketGrader 40171,232$13,672
42DBTWisdomTree International Technology291,084$13,782
43FDDFirst Trust DJ STOXX Select Dividend 30181,474$14,271
44FXDFirst Trust Cons Discretionary AlphaDex221,721$14,501
45GBBiPath GBP/USD Exchange Rate ETN22384$14,914
46RGIRydex S&P Equal Weight Industrials28505$15,166
47MZNClaymore/Mrngstr Inform. SuperSector191,026$15,307
48PNQIPowerShares Nasdaq Internet91,111$15,528
49EENClaymore/Robeco Developed International Eq241,447$15,838
50PDQPowerShares Asia Pacific ex-Jpn Small-Mid171,863$16,379
51IIHHOLDRS Internet Infrastructure1109,132$17,757
52FXLFirst Trust Technology AlphaDex221,732$17,936
53RHORydex Inverse 2x S&P Health Care8321$18,171
54UBME-TRACS CMCI Industrial Metals TR ETN111,468$18,410
55IRYSPDR S&P International Health Care7826$18,757
56EKHHOLDRS Europe 200199463$18,990
57JEMBarclays GEMS Currency Index ETN13489$19,188
58IPUSPDR S&P International Utilities7984$19,512
59PEHPowerShares Dynamic Europe Portfolio212,326$19,737
60BSCElements Ben Graham Small Cap Value ETN73,268$20,215
61FPXFirst Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund351,558$20,335
62PMAPowerShares Active Mega-Cap Portfolio111,253$20,587
63MKHHOLDRS Merrill Lynch Market 2000+103532$20,614
64DODElements Dogs of the Dow Total Return ETN164,795$20,801
65IFEUiShares FTSE/EPRA NAREIT Europe161,202$20,990
66ADZPowerShares DB Agriculture Short ETN11600$22,377
67CSDClaymore/Clear Spin-Off ETF272,005$22,587
68SZGSPA MarketGrader Large Cap 100171,911$23,923
69DOYMacroShares $100 Oil Down82,979$24,493
70PNXQPowerShares Nasdaq Next Q111,658$25,920
71IPWSPDR S&P International Energy71,421$26,045
72DPCWisdomTree International Consumer Cyclical292,074$26,394
73PEFPowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe201,305$28,164
74AGFPowerShares DB Agriculture Long ETN111,805$28,433
75IRVSPDR S&P International Materials71,984$28,688
76PXQPowerShares Dynamic Networking452,779$28,871
77FABFirst Trust Multi Cap Value AlphaDEX222,058$29,164
78MZGClaymore/Mrngstr Manufact. SuperSector191,995$31,010
79GRICohen & Steers Global Realty Majors101,658$31,155
80FXOFirst Trust Financials AlphaDex224,195$31,188
81IPSSPDR S&P International Consumer Staples71,632$31,402
82FXRFirst Trust Industrials AlphaDex223,400$31,778
83RCDRydex S&P Equal Weight Cons Discret281,726$32,572
84TDNTDX Independence 2030172,332$33,564
85CZAClaymore/Zacks Mid-Cap Core ETF232,200$34,009
86JJMiPath DJ AIG Industrial Metals ETN161,658$35,022
87OTPClaymore/Ocean Tomo Patent272,274$36,490
88GRNiPath Global Carbon ETN81,926$36,559
89ICNWisdomTree Dreyfus Indian Rupe101,611$36,753
90NUCLiShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy81,268$37,197
91PAOPowerShares Auto Balanced Growth NFA94,326$37,294
92MDDSPDR S&P International Mid Cap102,100$38,166
93RHSRydex S&P Equal Weight Cons Staples281,011$38,657
94LVLClaymore/BBD High Income204,700$38,688
95PLKPowerShares Active Low Duration111,558$38,748
96DEFClaymore/Sabrient Defender272,453$39,411
97BDHHOLDRS Broadband ETF1084,921$40,197
98RZGRydex S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Growth361,695$40,596
99FYXFirst Trust Small Cap Core AlphaDEX222,837$41,071
100DRFWisdomTree International Financial294,926$42,555
101MESMarket Vectors Gulf States72,884$43,563
102FXGFirst Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDex223,263$44,234
103FGDFirst Trust DJ Global Select Dividend153,868$44,389
104GRUElements MLCX Grains Total Return ETN137,526$44,454
105IFSMiShares FTSE Dev Small Cap ex-N. Amer162,221$44,715
106FADFirst Trust Multi Cap Growth AlphaDEX222,605$44,720
107FVIFirst Trust Value Line Equity Allocation273,968$44,799
108IROClaymore/Zacks Dividend Rotation163,884$44,855
109EMVSPDR DJ Wilshire Mid Cap Value401,500$45,654
110IFASiShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Asia162,616$46,876
111ISTSPDR S&P International Telecom72,589$47,236
112MZOClaymore/Mrngstr Services SuperSector193,737$47,520
113FXNFirst Trust Energy AlphaDex224,700$47,871
114PRYPowerShares FTSE RAFI Intl. Real Estate145,347$48,356
115NFOClaymore/Sabrient Insider303,137$48,751
116PHWPowerShares Dynamic Hrdwr & Cons Elec396,689$49,376
117UBGE-TRACS CMCI Gold Total Return ETN111,868$49,433
118RYTRydex S&P Equal Weight Technology281,879$50,019
119USVE-TRACS CMCI Silver Total Return ETN112,558$50,049
120IPFSPDR S&P International Financial74,316$50,105
121PQZPowerShares Active Alpha Multi-Cap114,100$50,660
122AFKMarket Vectors Africa ETF82,868$52,375
123WMHHOLDRS Wireless1011,463$53,087
124GULFWisdomTree Middle East Dividend84,620$53,535
125FEXFirst Trust Large Cap Core AlphaDEX223,737$55,539
126PIEPowerShares DWA Emg Mkts Tech Ldrs146,858$55,747
127RTMRydex S&P Equal Weight Materials282,005$55,958
128INYSPDR Barclays New York Muni Bond172,674$56,521
129DFEWisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend332,500$56,907
130EXBClaymore/Clear Global Exchanges & Brokers207,495$59,049
131PQBWPowerShares Nasdaq 100 Buy/Write93,571$59,243
132PTOPowerShares Auto Growth NFA97,574$59,702
133PBSPowerShares Dynamic Media459,416$62,907
134UOYMacroShares $100 Oil Up818,316$63,528
135PHJPowerShares High Gr. Rate Div Achievers428,226$64,424
136FXZFirst Trust Materials AlphaDex226,874$65,720
137JJSiPath DJ AIG Softs ETN81,832$66,501
138BALiPath DJ-AIG Cotton ETN82,332$66,552
139BDDPowerShares DB Base Metals Dbl Lg ETN913,068$66,680
140EWXSPDR S&P Emerging Mkts Small Cap102,974$67,322
141PAFPowerShares FTSE RAFI Asia Pac Ex-Japan202,763$67,405
142QQXTFirst Trust Nasdaq-100 Ex-Technology255,974$67,895
143EEZWisdomTree Earnings Top 100 Fund252,768$69,697
144PMNAPowerShares MENA Frontier Countries87,012$70,532
145QTECFT Nasdaq 100 Technology356,200$70,861
146RJZElements Rogers Metals ETN1712,063$71,338
147PQSCPowerShares FTSE Nasdaq Small Cap114,863$71,789
148PXNPowerShares Dynamic Lux Nanotech4110,689$73,238
149ICIiPath Optimized Currency Carry ETN111,684$73,293
150RTWRydex Inverse 2x S&P Technology81,426$75,007
151JJUiPath DJ AIG Aluminum ETN83,842$76,325
152DEBWisdomTree Europe Total Dividend332,553$77,290
153FDMFirst Trust DJ Select Microcap426,311$77,782
154PKNPowerShares Global Nuclear Energy115,811$78,147
155DNHWisdomTree Pacific Ex-Jap HY Equity333,058$81,208
156QQEWFirst Trust Nasdaq 100 Equal Weighted356,767$81,301
157DEWWisdomTree Europe High-Yielding Equity333,011$81,727
158EROiPath EUR/USD Exchange Rate ETN221,679$83,708
159DPNWisdomTree International Consumer Non-Cycl294,958$83,841
160RTGRydex 2x S&P Technology93,421$83,957
161ADRUBLDRS Europe 100 ADR775,837$85,979
162JJEiPath DJ AIG Energy ETN163,932$86,636
163RYFRydex S&P Equal Weight Financial286,526$88,364
164PVMPowerShares Dynamic Deep Value275,853$88,625
165PIZPowerShares DWA Dev Mkts Tech Ldrs147,584$89,103
166JJNiPath DJ AIG Nickel ETN165,942$90,365
167EXTWisdomTree Total Earnings253,263$90,515
168LDiPath DJ AIG Lead ETN83,089$92,472
169JYFWisdomTree Dreyfus Japan Yen93,342$94,662
170RWJRevenueShares Small Cap126,468$97,782
171PKWPowerShares Buyback Achievers276,842$98,163

Disclosure:  no positions.


9 Responses to “ETF Deathwatch – March 2009”

  1. JohnM on March 4th, 2009 9:11 pm

    while assets and trading volume of macroshares are low, they’re not ETFs – they are paired securities, so either side is not supposed to track the index (they are designed to trade at premiums and discounts). This isn’t really a flaw. If there’s a flaw, its applying this structure to an exposure (oil) that can be delivered in several other ways already. their inflation and housing filings are very interesting, these are exposures that an ETF can’t deliver (yet, anyway), so these macroshares will be worth watching closely

  2. Ron Rowland on March 5th, 2009 8:40 am

    JohnM, I tend to agree with you that MacroShares are probably not ETFs. See my recent article on that subect.:

    However, they are currently classified as such by most rating agencies. Since these are the only securities of this type (that I know of) in the U.S., it probably doesn’t make much sense to put them in a class by themselves. They are not ETFs, but they are not closed-end funds either.

    What’s the point of having something track an index (Macroshares) if they don’t really track the index (premium/discount). Why involve the index at all? It just adds a layer of complexity, confusion, and misleading information.

  3. Paul Franc on March 6th, 2009 7:07 am

    The JohnM person above must come from macroshares: macroshares is the scam of the century – they not only deserve to be on the ETF deathwatch, the sponsor company macro market needs to be prosecuted for fraud. Every one of the (very few) holders of their macro shares I talked to is talking about filing a class action lawsuit:

    I have the unfortunate experience of buying UOY right after their previous ones terminated, and ever since day one their fund is bleeding out of money. How is this happening? Check this out:

    Their fund charges 0.95% annually PLUS (big PLUS) a $600k hidden “fixed annual fee”. Since their funds hold treasury which is yielding only 0.1%, their fund combined is bleeding out 0.85% annually. AND let’s add in the $600k (PER FUND if I forgot to mention), since their funds are not doing **** they have only $20m sitting in the up and down funds combined, the $1.2m annually adds up to an additional 5% in fees!

    Now there you have it, you add up the NAV for both UOY and their down fund which in theory should always equal to $50 (teeter-totter), but in reality it’s been slowly declining since day 1. Now they only add up to $47.96 (pre-split level). These scammers are secretly taking money out of the fund every day and now 8 months since they started thing scam the funds have lost 10% of their value simply due to fees!! No hidden counterparty risk? LMAO.

    So I suspect the real reason why they split those shares is to hide the effect of the ridiculous fee on their NAV (after split the dollar fee number per share is 1/4 of the original).

  4. Paul Franc on March 6th, 2009 7:09 am

    Ron if you want to do the investing public a favor please go to the macro shares web site and do a chart of their up and down oil fund’s combined NAV. You’ll see the funds have been losing money since day one. Yet the macro markets is still out there marketing this piece of **** as no counterparty risk.

  5. TC on April 13th, 2009 8:39 pm

    Just wondering, where do you get the info about the “Avg Daily Value Traded” from? Just wanting to check out some ETF’s I own.

  6. Ron Rowland on April 14th, 2009 8:28 am


    I calculate ADVT myself and it’s something you can problably easily do also. To arrive at the figure I first calculate the Value Traded (VT) each day (the daily closing price times the volume). Note, this calculation is an approximation but is close enough for this. A more accurate method requires looking at the price and volume of each trade during the day.

    Once I have VT calculated for each day, I then sum them up for the calendar month (this gives us monthly VT), then I divide by the number of market days in the month to arrive at ADVT for the month.

    You could also get a good approximation by just using a 21-day average of the daily VT since 21 days is the average number of trading days in a month.

  7. samy cassis on May 7th, 2009 11:42 am

    please e-mail back with the most favourite ETFS that you think might be outperforming for the year 2009.
    thank you

  8. A look at ETF Trading Volumes and Total Assets | Canadian Capitalist on July 5th, 2009 10:41 pm

    [...] Rowland, a money manager, maintains an ETF Deathwatch on the Invest with an Edge website. To qualify, an US-listed ETF must be at least 6 months old and [...]

  9. ichannel on July 6th, 2009 12:09 am

    A look at ETF Trading Volumes and Total Assets…

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