The ETF Deathwatch membership roll contains 15 fewer names this month. There were 11 additions, but 26 managed to escape. Unfortunately, 22 of the escapees exited due to product death and delisting. Just four products left because of improved health. For February, the ETF Deathwatch count stands at 307, consisting of 204 ETFs and 103 ETNs. This represents 18.6% of current listings and is somewhat consistent with the industry’s lifetime average of shuttering more than one of every five products that come to market.

Although owning an ETF that closes can be a significant inconvenience, the primary danger for investors buying and selling these products is the lack of liquidity. Huge bid/ask spreads often exist, and the lack of volume hinders the ability of market makers to create or redeem shares in an effort to keep the trading price viable and bid/ask spreads reasonable. Nine products went the entire month of January without any trades, and 159 had zero volume the last day of the month. Good luck trying to sell your shares at a fair price in that environment.

ProShares closed 17 ETFs in January that were on Deathwatch. They represented a very small portion of ProShares overall assets, and the closures went a long way in cleaning up the firm’s product lineup. However, ProShares has another 35 ETFs on the list, so the firm will likely have to make additional tough decisions in the months ahead. The iPath branded ETNs from Barclays currently have the largest number of products on the list at 48. Six of the iPath ETNs have less than $1 million in assets, and five haven’t logged any trades in 2015.

The average asset level of products on ETF Deathwatch increased from $6.4 million to $6.6 million, and 47 currently have less than $2 million in assets. The average age is 46.3 months, and 88 are now more than five years old.

Here is the Complete List of 307 Products on ETF Deathwatch for February 2015 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The 11 ETPs added to ETF Deathwatch for February:

  1. AdvisorShares Sunrise Global Multi-Strategy (MULT)
  2. Compass EMPU.S.500 Volatility Weighted (CFA)
  3. Credit Suisse Merger Arb Liquid ETN (CSMA)
  4. ETRACS CMCI Agriculture TR ETN (UAG)
  5. ETRACS Diversified High Income ETN (DVHI)
  6. Forensic Accounting ETF (FLAG)
  7. iPath Bloomberg Nickel ETN (JJN)
  8. iShares Liquidity Income ETF (ICSH)
  9. iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility (JPMV)
  10. PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Long ETN (DAG)
  11. ProShares 30 Year TIPS/TSY Spread (RINF)

The 4 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Yen (GYEN)
  2. AdvisorShares Madrona International (FWDI)
  3. C-Tracks Citi Volatility Index TR ETN (CVOL)
  4. First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achievers (RDVY)

The 22 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to delisting:

  1. AdvisorShares Athena International Bear ETF (HDGI)
  2. AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/British Pound (GGBP)
  3. AdvisorShares International Gold (GLDE)
  4. Morgan Stanley S&P 500 Crude Oil ETN (BARL)
  5. ProShares Short 30 Year TIPS/TSY Spread (FINF)
  6. ProShares Ultra Russell Midcap Growth (UKW)
  7. ProShares Ultra Russell Midcap Value (UVU)
  8. ProShares Ultra Russell1000 Growth (UKF)
  9. ProShares Ultra Russell1000 Value (UVG)
  10. ProShares Ultra Russell2000 Growth (UKK)
  11. ProShares Ultra Russell2000 Value (UVT)
  12. ProShares Ultra Russell3000 (UWC)
  13. ProShares UltraPro 10 Year TIPS/TSY Spread (UINF)
  14. ProShares UltraPro Short 10yr TIPS/TSY Spread (SINF)
  15. ProShares UltraShort Russell Midcap Growth (SDK)
  16. ProShares UltraShort Russell Midcap Value (SJL)
  17. ProShares UltraShort Russell1000 Growth (SFK)
  18. ProShares UltraShort Russell1000 Value (SJF)
  19. ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 Growth (SKK)
  20. ProShares UltraShort Russell2000 Value (SJH)
  21. ProShares UltraShort Russell3000 (TWQ)
  22. Russell Equity (ONEF)

ETF Deathwatch Archives

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.