For the month of August, the ETF Deathwatch decreased in size. Fifteen exchange-traded products (“ETP”) and one exchange-traded note (“ETN”) were added to the list, and 35 funds were removed. Of the removals, 13 were removed due to increased health and 22 were due to asset managers closing their funds. Moving into a new quarter, several fund managers were likely looking to liquidate funds for the month of August.

Exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and ETNs that are less than 6 months of age are not considered for the ETF Deathwatch list. New ETFs and ETNs need time to attract attention from investors and gain momentum, so we consider their first 6 months an “incubation period.” For August, six of the new additions to the list were young funds, having just come out of their incubation period. However, three of the new additions were more than 5 years old, which is a particularly bad sign as it indicates declining interest in an established product. These older additions include some domestic ETFs and many international and global ETFs. This is not too much of a surprise with the recent turmoil in the foreign market caused in part by Turkey’s financial crisis.

We’re keeping our eye on a few funds due to their lack of assets under management (“AUM”). First Trust Nasdaq Food & Beverage ETF (FTXG), at 23 months of age (a relatively young fund when compared to the rest of the Deathwatch list), has only acquired $992,500 of AUM. Other ETFs that have not gained much AUM are the ProShares UltraShort ETFs, including the ProShares UltraShort Healthcare (RXD) and ProShares UltraShort Consumer Services (SCC) ETFs. Due to the longest bull market in U.S. history, ultra short, or leveraged inverse funds, have had a hard time attracting investor funds, as tactically profitable short trades have been hard to come by.

There are 52 ETFs and ETNS on Deathwatch this month that have been in the market for more than 10 years. This is a long time for ETPs to exist while remaining on our Deathwatch list. Examples include the BLDRS Asia 50 ADR ETF (ADRA) and BLDRS Europe 100 ADR (ADRU).

The average asset level of the threatened ETFs on ETF Deathwatch increased slightly from $7.86 million to $7.87 million, and the number of products with less than $2 million in assets was 45. The average age of products on the list increased slightly from 48.38 to 48.45 months, and the number of products more than 5 years of age decreased from 129 to 126. The largest ETF on the list had an AUM of $24.81 million, while the smallest had assets of just $405,270.

Here is the Complete List of 421 ETFs and ETNs on ETF Deathwatch for August 2018 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The 16 ETF/ETNs added to ETF Deathwatch for August:

  1. X-Links Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Alerian MLP Index ETN (AMJL)
  2. NYSE Pickens Oil Response ETF (BOON)
  3. Invesco Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF (DJD)
  4. WisdomTree Europe Domestic Economy Fund (EDOM)
  5. ProShares Ultra MSCI EAFE (EFO)
  6. Innovation Shares NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF (EKAR)
  7. Franklin FTSE Asia ex Japan ETF (FLAX)
  8. Franklin FTSE Hong Kong ETF (FLHK)
  9. Franklin Liberty Intermediate Municipal Opportunities ETF (FLMI)
  10. Franklin FTSE Taiwan ETF (FLTW)
  11. PortfolioPlus Developed Markets ETF (PPDM)
  12. PortfolioPlus Emerging Markets ETF (PPEM)
  13. ProShares Short Real Estate (REK)
  14. ProShares Inflation Expectations ETF (RINF)
  15. ETF Industry Exposure & Financial Services ETF (TETF)
  16. Volshares Large Cap ETF (VSL)

The 13 ETF/ETNs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. Pacer US Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF (CALF)
  2. Market Vectors Double Short Euro ETN (DRR)
  3. Invesco Russell MidCap Equal Weight ETF (EQWM)
  4. Janus Detroit Street Trust Janus Henderson Small Cap Growth Alpha ETF (JSML)
  5. WisdomTree Trust-WisdomTree US Multifactor Fund (USMF)
  6. ETF Series Solutions-Brand Value ETF (BVAL)
  7. United States Copper Index Fund (CPER)
  8. ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Diversified High Income ETN (DVHL)
  9. Innovator S&P Investment Grade Preferred ETF (EPRF)
  10. First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VI First Trust Hedged BuyWrite Income ETF (FTLB)
  11. WisdomTree Middle East Dividend Fund (GULF)
  12. iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE Small-Cap ETF (HSCZ)
  13. The Obesity ETF (SLIM)

The 22 ETFs/ ETN that were closed:

  1. DB Agriculture Short Exchange Traded Notes (ADZ)
  2. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Consumer Discretionary ETF (CNDF)
  3. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Consumer Staples ETF (CNSF)
  4. AxelaTrader 3x Inverse Brent Crude Oil ETN (DBRT)
  5. DB Commodity Double Short Exchange Traded Notes (DEE)
  6. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Energy ETF (ERGF)
  7. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Financials ETF (FNCF)
  8. iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Currency Hedged ETF (HACV)
  9. iShares Currency Hedged MSCI ACWI ETF (HACW)
  10. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Healthcare ETF (HCRF)
  11. iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Currency Hedged ETF (HEFV)
  12. iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EM Currency Hedged ETF (HEMV)
  13. iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Europe Small-Cap ETF (HEUS)
  14. iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Europe Currency Hedged ETF (HEUV)
  15. iShares Currency Hedged International High Yield ETF (HHYX)
  16. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Industrials ETF (INDF)
  17. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Materials ETF (MATF)
  18. Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN (OIIL)
  19. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Technology ETF (TCHF)
  20. VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Medium Term ETN (TVIZ)
  21. iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Utilities ETF (UTLF)
  22. VelocityShares VIX Medium Term ETN (VIIZ)

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.