The quantity of exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and exchange-traded noted (“ETNs”) continues to zoom higher. There are now 450 products on the list, and the growth trajectory is on a path to surpass 500 by the end of the year.

For May, there are 26 new names joining the list and 11 coming off. Only seven of the removals were the result of improved health—the other four died and lost their listings. The current membership consists of 342 ETFs and 108 ETNs. Further segmentation of the ETF population reveals that 41 are actively managed funds, 151 have smart-beta labels, and the remaining 150 are traditional capitalization-weighted ETFs.

The surge of currency-hedged ETF introductions of the past two years continues to be problematic for the industry. The brief nine-month surge of the U.S. dollar in late 2014 and early 2015 generated a slew of currency-hedged ETF launches that continues to this day. However, with the dollar’s decline over the past 14 months, these funds have been at a performance disadvantage. As a result, they are failing to attract new assets, losing some of the assets they had, and ending up here on ETF Deathwatch. This month, six of the additions are currency-hedged ETFs.

Twenty-six funds went the entire month of April without a trade, and 269 did not trade on the last day of the month. Additionally, six products have yet to record their first trade of 2016. It remains a mystery why some of these products exist and why the exchanges allow them to have a listing.

The NYSE did take action against one ETN issued by Deutsche Bank (DB) in April. As outlined in ETF Stats for April, the NYSE suspended trading and delisted DB Commodity Long ETN (former ticker DPU) because its assets fell below $400,000. However, DB left shareholders holding the bag because it has no intention of automatically liquidating the ETNs and returning money to shareholders. Adding insult to injury, the notes do not mature for another 22 years. If owners are not willing to wait that long, then they will have to pursue the monthly round-lot redemption process or a sale in the over-the-counter markets. Keep this in mind before buying one of the 39 other DB-sponsored products that are currently on Deathwatch.

The average asset level of products on ETF Deathwatch increased from $6.6 million to $6.8 million, and the quantity of products with less than $2 million fell from 98 to 96. The average age increased from 46.4 to 46.8 months, and the number of products more than five years of age surged from 148 to 177. The driving force behind the huge jump in five-year-old products on the list is that unloved family of iPath “Pure Beta” ETFs have now been on the market that long. Despite the lack of investor interest in these ETNs, Barclays continues to sponsor them, and the NYSE continues to collect a listing fee.

Here is the Complete List of 450 ETFs and ETNs on ETF Deathwatch for May 2016 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The 26 ETFs and ETNs added to ETF Deathwatch for May:

  1. AlphaMark Actively Managed Small Cap (SMCP)
  2. CSOP China CSI 300 A-H Dynamic (HAHA)
  3. CSOP MSCI China A International Hedged (CNHX)
  4. Deutsche X-trackers CSI 300 China A Hedged Equity (ASHX)
  5. ELEMENTS Rogers ICI Energy ETN (RJN)
  6. ETRACS 2x Wells Fargo BDC Series B ETN (LBDC)
  7. ETRACS Mthly Pay 2x Mortgage REIT Series B ETN (MRRL)
  8. ETRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Series B ETN (UCIB)
  9. Guggenheim MSCI Emerging Market Equal Country Wtd (EWEM)
  10. iShares Currency Hedged MSCI South Korea (HEWY)
  11. John Hancock Multifactor Healthcare (JHMH)
  12. Morgan Stanley Cushing MLP High Income ETN (MLPY)
  13. PowerShares Developed EuroPacific Hedged Low Volatility (FXEP)
  14. PowerShares Dynamic Networking (PXQ)
  15. PowerShares Japan Currency Hedged Low Volatility (FXJP)
  16. PowerShares S&P 500 Momentum (SPMO)
  17. PowerShares S&P 500 Value (SPVU)
  18. PowerShares Zacks Micro Cap (PZI)
  19. RBC Yorkville MLP Distribution Growth Leaders Liquid PR ETN (YGRO)
  20. Reaves Utilities (UTES)
  21. SPDR MSCI China A Shares IMI (XINA)
  22. The Restaurant ETF (BITE)
  23. VanEck Vectors Solar Energy (KWT)
  24. WisdomTree BofA ML HY Bond Zero Duration (HYZD)
  25. WisdomTree Europe Local Recovery (EZR)
  26. WisdomTree Global ex-U.S. Hedged Real Estate (HDRW)

The 7 ETPs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to improved health:

  1. Barclays Return on Disability ETN (RODI)
  2. Global X Permanent (PERM)
  3. Global X Scientific Beta US (SCIU)
  4. IQ 50 Percent Hedged FTSE Japan (HFXJ)
  5. iShares Global Inflation-Linked Bond (GTIP)
  6. O’Shares FTSE Europe Quality Dividend (OEUR)
  7. PureFunds ISE Junior Silver (SILJ)

The 4 ETFs removed from ETF Deathwatch due to delisting:

  1. Highland HFR Equity Hedge (HHDG)
  2. Highland HFR Event-Driven (DRVN)
  3. Highland HFR Global (HHFR)
  4. DB Commodity Long ETN (DPU)

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.