Sixty-seven exchange traded products (“ETPs”) saw their last day of listed trading in 2013.  This is the second highest annual death toll for the relatively young industry, surpassed only by the 102 closures of the prior year.  The departed are a mixture of 50 ETFs and 17 ETNs, and the lifetime count now stands at 380 (324 ETFs and 56 ETNs).

Closures affected 16 different brands, with FactorShares, KEYnotes, and STREAM becoming brands that are no longer with us.  We welcomed the closure of FactorShares, as it removed an industry blight due to these ETFs having ludicrous expense ratios as high as 33%.  JPMorgan closed out its only KEYnotes ETN in October along with two other ETNs under the JPMorgan brand.  However, it did not liquidate the KEYnotes product at the time.  JPMorgan is now down to a single ETP, the JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (AMJ).  AMJ has ceased creating new shares though, rendering it a broken product subject to price premiums.

BNP Paribas entered the U.S. ETF market in 2012 with the introduction of the STREAM S&P Dynamic Roll Global Commodities ETF (BNPC).  BNP Paribas committed ETF sponsor suicide in April of 2013 by closing and delisting the fund without any plan to liquidate the assets and return the money to shareholders.  Eventually, BNP Paribas came around, but it took 199 days to render payments, providing an excellent example of why investors should sell shares prior to delisting and avoid the liquidation process.  That may seem extreme, but Credit Suisse finally got around to liquidating three ETNs in 2013 that it delisted in 2009, taking 1,422 days for shareholders to get their money.

Most of 2013’s closures had become Zombie ETFs, and 57 of the 67 (85%) 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 for two ETNs.  Three bond ETFs had graceful closings due to reaching their planned maturity and liquidation dates.  Guggenheim had the most closures of funds not on ETF Deathwatch, suggesting the firm has been aggressive in removing unprofitable products from its lineup.

The average age of funds that closed in 2013 was 37.7 months (3.1 years).  This is greater than the 28.4-month average and much greater than the 18.9-year median lifespan of all 380 closed products.  Sponsors were apparently willing to subsidize these non-profitable products a little longer in the hopes the bull market would help them attract more assets.

The interactive table below is currently sorted by product name.



# Ticker Name Last Day Deathwatch Notes
1 SSAM AdvisorShares Rockledge SectorSAM 06/14/2013 Yes 1
2 BXDC Barclays ETN+ S&P 500 Lvrgd 2x Short C ETN 01/10/2013 Yes 3
3 INSD Direxion Large Cap Insider Sentiment 01/18/2013 Yes
4 VSPR Direxion S&P 1500 DRRC Volatility Response 01/18/2013 Yes
5 VLAT Direxion S&P Latin America 40 DRRC Vlty Res 01/18/2013 Yes
6 LGEM EGShares Basic Materials GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
7 GGEM EGShares Consumer Goods GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
8 VGEM EGShares Consumer Services GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
9 EMT EGShares Emerging Markets Metals & Mining 10/04/2013 Yes
10 OGEM EGShares Energy GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
11 FGEM EGShares Financials GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
12 AGEM EGShares GEMS Composite 10/04/2013 Yes
13 HGEM EGShares Health Care GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
14 IGEM EGShares Industrials GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
15 QGEM EGShares Technology GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
16 TGEM EGShares Telecom GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
17 UGEM EGShares Utilities GEMS 10/04/2013 Yes
18 GWO ELEMENTS CS Global Warming ETN 02/25/2013 Yes
19 PTD ETRACS CMCI Short Platinum ER ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
20 BLND ETRACS DJ-UBS Comdty 2-4-6 Blnd Fut ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
21 SSDD ETRACS ISE Solid State Drive ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
22 LSKY ETRACS Mth 2x ISE Cloud Computing ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
23 SSDL ETRACS Mth 2x ISE Solid State Drive ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
24 EIPL ETRACS Mth 2x Next Generation Internet ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
25 EIPO ETRACS Next Generation Internet ETN 06/05/2013 Yes
26 FSG FactorShares 2X: Gold Bull/S&P500 Bear 11/21/2013 Yes
27 FOL FactorShares 2X: Oil Bull/S&P500 Bear 11/21/2013 Yes
28 FSE FactorShares 2X: S&P500 Bull/TBond Bear 11/21/2013 Yes
29 FSU FactorShares 2X: S&P500 Bull/USD Bear 11/21/2013 Yes
30 FSA FactorShares 2X: TBond Bull/S&P500 Bear 11/21/2013 Yes
31 RSU Guggenheim 2x S&P 500 03/15/2013
32 ABCS Guggenheim ABC High Dividend 03/15/2013 Yes
33 FAA Guggenheim Airline 03/15/2013
34 BSCD Guggenheim BulletShares 2013 Corp Bond 12/30/2013 2
35 BSJD Guggenheim BulletShares 2013 HY Bond 12/30/2013 2
36 RSW Guggenheim Inverse 2x S&P 500 03/15/2013
37 EWEF Guggenheim MSCI EAFE Equal Weight 03/15/2013
38 EWMD Guggenheim S&P MidCap 400 Equal Weight 03/15/2013 Yes
39 EWSM Guggenheim S&P SmallCap 600 Equal Weight 03/15/2013 Yes
40 WXSP Guggenheim Wilshire 4500 Completion 03/15/2013 Yes
41 WFVK Guggenheim Wilshire 5000 Total Market 03/15/2013
42 RMB Guggenheim Yuan Bond 06/14/2013 Yes
43 MFSA iPath Short Enh -2x MSCI EAFE Index ETN 09/16/2013 Yes 3
44 MUAB iShares 2013 S&P AMT-Free Muni Term ETF 08/15/2013 2
45 ALT iShares Diversified Alternative Trust 05/28/2013 1
46 DSXJ JPM Qtrly Dbl Short US 10-Yr Treas Futures ETN 10/02/2013 Yes
47 DSTJ JPM Qtrly Dbl Short US Long Treas Futures ETN 10/02/2013 Yes
48 JFT KEYnotes FT Enhanced 130/30 Large Cap ETN 10/09/2013 Yes
49 NASI Pax MSCI North America ESG 03/13/2013 Yes
50 PLK PowerShares Active Low Duration 02/26/2013 Yes 1
51 PMA PowerShares Active Mega-Cap Portfolio 02/26/2013 Yes 1
52 CVRT PowerShares Convertible Securities Portfolio 02/26/2013 Yes
53 PJB PowerShares Dynamic Banking 02/26/2013 Yes
54 PIC PowerShares Dynamic Insurance 02/26/2013 Yes
55 PKOL PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio 02/26/2013
56 PKN PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy 02/26/2013 Yes
57 PSTL PowerShares Global Steel Portfolio 02/26/2013 Yes
58 PWND PowerShares Global Wind Energy 02/26/2013 Yes
59 PTO PowerShares Ibbotson Alternative Completion 02/26/2013 Yes
60 PYH PowerShares Morningstar StockInvestor Core 02/26/2013 Yes
61 PAO PowerShares Riverfront Tactical Bal Growth 02/26/2013 Yes
62 PCA PowerShares Riverfront Tactical Gr & Inc 02/26/2013 Yes
63 BNPC STREAM S&P Dynamic Roll Global Commodities 04/12/2013 Yes
64 IPLT VelocityShares 2x Inverse Platinum ETN 12/26/2013 Yes
65 LPLT VelocityShares 2x Long Platinum ETN 12/26/2013 Yes
66 DOIL VelocityShares 3x Inverse Brent Crude ETN 12/26/2013 Yes
67 UOIL VelocityShares 3x Long Brent Crude ETN 12/26/2013 Yes
Showing 1 to 67 of 67 entries

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. 

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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.