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5 Successful ETF Launches of 2021

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The popularity of ETF investing has been going through the roof and it took about 20 years to reach this height. After a smashing 2020, the pace of ETF launches has been robust in 2021. In 2021, we saw about a record 445 new products (per a Bloomberg article) so far following 318 new ETFs in 2020.

Horizon Kinetics Inflation Beneficiaries ETF (INFL - Free Report) , Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF , ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX - Free Report) , Schwab International Dividend Equity ETF (SCHY - Free Report) and Invesco International Developed Dynamic Multifactor ETF (IMFL - Free Report) are some of new ETF winners of 2021 that have hauled in considerable assets.

It is worth noting that the pace of ETF rollout, in fact, charged up after 2019 which saw about 246 launches compared with approximately 270 each in 2018 and 2017. The demand has been pretty strong. The last few years have been particularly eventful compared to about 240 ETF launches in 2016, 300 rollouts in 2015, 180 ETF initiations in 2014, 150 in 2013 and 170 in 2012.

A volley of new cash helped this surge as investors brace for an economic recovery from the coronavirus, while equity mutual funds went out of favor. About $900 billion of investments has entered the ETF market since the start of the year – which is another record. Very few funds got closed, indicating real investors’ interest.

September was among the busiest months for launches ever, with 70 new ETFs – an average of more than three per trading day, per a Bloomberg article. The clip has, however, since toned down, but 120 products have still launched so far in the fourth quarter. Thematic ETFs have been in vogue. Funds that conform to higher environmental, social, and governance standards are among the thematic boom. More than 30 ESG ETFs have launched in the United States this year.

Out of the 445 new entries, 75 target the fixed income world. For the first time, new actively managed ETFs (298 debuts) outshined their passive siblings (147 launches). At the same time, launches of low-cost, broad equity-index trackers are declining. Traditional core or “beta vehicles” comprised only 8% of total equity ETF launches from the start of 2020 through October, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Below are five ETFs launched in the 2021 that have amassed a decent asset base.

Horizon Kinetics Inflation Beneficiaries ETF (INFL - Free Report) – $837.9 million

The fund entered the market on Jan 11. This is an actively managed ETF that seeks long-term growth of capital in real terms. Since 2021 has been all about inflationary expectations on faster-than-expected bets on economic growth, the ETF fetched in sizable assets.

Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF – $863.1 million

The fund debuted on Jun 30. The underlying Ball Metaverse Index seeks to track the performance of globally-listed equity securities of companies that engage in activities or provide products, services, technologies, or technological capabilities to enable the Metaverse, and benefit from its generated revenues.

ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX - Free Report) – $454.3 million

ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF hit the market on Mar 30, 2021. ARKX is an actively managed ETF that seeks long-term growth of capital by investing under normal circumstances primarily (at least 80% of its assets) in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that are engaged in the Fund’s investment theme of Space Exploration and innovation. “Space Exploration” as leading, enabling, or benefitting from technologically enabled products and/or services that occur beyond the surface of the Earth.

Schwab International Dividend Equity ETF (SCHY - Free Report) – $166.9 million

The ETF SCHY debuted in the market on Apr 29, 2021. The underlying Dow Jones International Dividend 100 Index measures the performance of high dividend yielding stocks issued by companies in developed and emerging countries outside the United States.

Invesco International Developed Dynamic Multifactor ETF (IMFL - Free Report) – $132.0 million

The fund was launched on Feb 24. The underlying FTSE Developed ex US Invesco Dynamic Multifactor Index of the fund is an index of foreign equity securities designed to reflect a dynamic combination of factor investing strategies that have historically outperformed other factors during various parts of the economic cycle.