The ETF Deathwatch had 13 additions and 19 exits in February, bringing the membership tally to 437. The funds that left Deathwatch, with the exception of one, were removed due to improved health. LocalShares Nashville Area ETF (NASH) was removed due to fund liquidation. Five ETNs were added to the list, and two ETNs left this month. All other removals and additions were ETFs.

Five of the 13 additions to the list were young funds, having just come out of the six-month grace period given to all new ETFs and ETNs. Since they haven’t had much time to attract investor interest, they still have a good chance of coming off the list down the road; however, one addition, iPath Long Enhanced 2x MSCI EAFE Index ETN (MFLA) is more than 7 years of age, which is indicative of declining interest. Funds like this are the most likely to be vulnerable to closure. This fund was added to the list due to low trading volume rather than a decrease in assets under management (AUM). Three funds added to the list had insufficient assets: The Citigroup C Tracks Miller Howard Strategic Dividend ETN (DIVC), Morgan Stanley Market Vectors Double Short Euro ETN (DRR), and the Citigroup C Tracks based on Performance of Miller/Howard MLP Fundamental Index ETN (MLPC).

Most ETFs added to the list are niche products, such as the Direxion iBillionaire ETF (IBLN). One, however, was solidly within the traditional investment realm: the iShares Currency Hedged MSCHI Europe Small-Cap ETF (HEUS).

With only one closure this month, it appears that most fund managers see little need to cut costs for their products that bring in smaller revenues. The market was quite tumultuous in February, resulting in some VIX fund closures, but none of these funds met the Deathwatch criteria and were closed for performance and risk reasons.

There are 35 ETFs and ETNs on Deathwatch this month that have been in the market for more than 10 years. That is a long time to wait for investor interest to kick in.

The average asset level of the threatened ETFs on ETF Deathwatch fell from $7.45 million to $6.88 million, and the number of products with less than $2 million in assets increased from 81 to 83. The average fund age rose from 53.55 to 54.52 months, and the number of products more than 5 years of age decreased from 172 to 169. The largest ETF on the list had an AUM of $23.08 million, while the smallest had assets of just $260,000.

Here is the Complete List of 437 ETFs and ETNs on ETF Deathwatch for February 2018 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The 13 ETFs and ETNs added to ETF Deathwatch for February:

  1. SPDR Barclays Issuer Scored Corp Bond ETF (CBND)
  2. Deutsche X-trackers MSCI South Korea Hdg ETF (DBKO)
  3. Reality Shares DIVCON Dividend Defender ETF (DIVC)
  4. VelocityShares Short LIBOR ETN (DLBR)
  5. Morgan Stanley Market Vectors Double Shor ETN (DRR)
  6. First Trust Dow 30 Equal Weight ETF (EDOW)
  7. Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bond Bull 3x Shares (EMBU)
  8. WisdomTree Europe Dividend Growth ETF (EUDV)
  9. Franklin Liberty Municipal Bond ETF (FLMB)
  10. Fieldstone Merlin Dynamic Large Cap Growth Fund (FMDG)
  11. iPath Long Enh 2x MSCI EAFE Index ETN (MFLA)
  12. Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bear 3x Shares ETF (MIDZ)
  13. Citigroup C Tracks based on Performance of Miller/Howard MLP Fundamental Index ETN (MLPC)

The 19 ETFs and ETNs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF (COWZ)
  2. PowerShares Russell 2000 Equal Wt ETF (EQWS)
  3. WisdomTree Asia Local Debt ETF (ALD)
  4. Direxion Dly Industrials Bull 3X ShsETF (DUSL)
  5. PowerShares DWA Momentum&Low Vol Rttn (DWLV)
  6. First Trust DevMkts exUS SC AlphaDEXETF (FDTS)
  7. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Fincls ETF (FNCF)
  8. VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF (GRNB)
  9. iPath Bloomberg Agriculture SubTR ETN (JJA)
  10. Global X Longevity Thematic ETF (LNGR)
  11. The Organics ETF (ORG)
  12. ProShares UltraShort Utilities (SDP)
  13. Cambria Sovereign Bond ETF (SOVB)
  14. SPDR S&P 500 Buyback ETF (SPYB)
  15. SPDR MFS Systematic Value Equity ETF (SYV)
  16. Premise Capital Frntr Advtg Dvrs Tct ETF (TCTL)
  17. Direxion Dly Transp Bull 3X Shrs ETF (TPOR)
  18. ProShares Ultra FTSE Europe (UPV)
  19. iPath S&P 500 Dynamic VIX ETN (XVZ)

ETF removed from ETF Deathwatch due to fund liquidation:

  1. LocalShares Nashville Area ETF (NASH)

Looking for more? See our ETF Deathwatch Archives

Disclosure: Author has no positions in any of the securities mentioned and no positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) is received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.