ETF Deathwatch For September 2016: Largest One-Month Decline

ETF Deathwatch logged its largest one-month drop in membership ever with a net reduction of 32 products. The count for September stands at 460 (361 ETFs and 99 ETNs), the lowest level of the past four months. The decline does not change the overall upward trend. The count has zoomed 41% higher from a level of 325 in just the past 12 months.

Unfortunately, the reduction in names on the list is not the direct result of products getting healthier. Instead, the majority of the decline is attributed to deaths and liquidations of ETFs and ETNs. However, this may be an indirect sign that the overall industry is getting healthier by eliminating its weaker members.  With the median ETF holding just $72 million in assets, a level many observers believe to be unprofitable, a clean bill of health is still a long way off for the majority of products.

A record 41 closures occurred in August, but only 25 of those products were on ETF Deathwatch. The other 16 closures were products with enough assets to exclude them from the list, which is evidence suggesting the current criteria may be too conservative. Nine new names were added to the list, and 16 came off due to increased assets, an upturn in trading activity, or both.

Despite the large change in membership this month, the demographics of the members changed very little. The average asset level of products on ETF Deathwatch declined from $7.2 million to $7.1 million, and the quantity of products with less than $2 million in assets shrunk from 93 to 90. The average age increased from 47.9 to 48.5 months, and the number of products more than 5 years of age dropped from 197 to 183.

Here is the Complete List of 460 ETFs and ETNs on ETF Deathwatch for September 2016 compiled using the objective ETF Deathwatch Criteria.

The 9 ETFs and ETNs added to ETF Deathwatch for September:

  1. AdvisorShares EquityPro (EPRO)
  2. Cambria Sovereign High Yield Bond ETF (SOVB)
  3. ETRACS 1x Mthly Short Alerian MLP ETN (MLPS)
  4. First Trust Canada AlphaDEX (FCAN)
  5. First Trust Morningstar Managed Futures Strategy (FMF)
  6. Janus Small Cap Growth Alpha ETF (JSML)
  7. ProShares Managed Futures Strategy (FUT)
  8. SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity (SYG)
  9. WisdomTree Global SmallCap Dividend (GSD)
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Disclosure: Author has no positions in any of the securities, companies, or ...

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