New exchange-traded funds are launched everyday—381 debuted globally in 2016, according to research firm ETFGI—but after the initial excitement and flurry of interest that accompanies new entrants, it’s easy for them to disappear into the crowd, a crowd comprised of the 4,872 other funds available for investors.
While a few break out and become favorites for investors and traders, as the medical marijuana fund seems to have, many get lost in the shuffle, with attention dissipating before they amass a record that can be fairly evaluated.
With that in mind, here are three very different funds that celebrated their first anniversary this week, with a look at how they have traded and performed over that period.
Fund: The Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, +0.69%
Assets under management: $12 million
Expense Ratio: 0.65%
Launch date: April 20, 2016
30-day average volume: 5,400 (approximately)
12-month price move: up 20.5%
Benchmark performance (past 12 months): SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, +1.86% down 5.1%, S&P 500 SPX, +0.76% up 12.2%
Top five holdings: Nutrisystem Inc. NTRI, +0.90% Wayfair Inc. W, -0.13% RetailMeNot Inc. SALE, +0.00% Lands’ End Inc. LE, +1.42% eBay Inc. EBAY, -3.91%
Strategy: The fund only invests in companies that get 70% of their revenue from online sales, as part of a bet on the broader consumer shift from traditional retail to web- and mobile-based shopping.
The result: So far this has proved to be a canny strategy, as measured by the dramatic divergence in performance between the fund and a broader retail ETF. While the Online Retail ETF is up more than 20% over the past 12 months, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down more than 5% over the same period, hurt by extended and broad-based weakness among brick-and-mortar stores.
Online sales are a small but growing part of the consumer market. According to a February report by the Commerce Department, U.S. retail e-commerce sales rose 32% in the fourth quarter (unadjusted), more than eight times the growth rate of total retail sales, which were up 3.9%. E-commerce sales accounted for 9.5% of total sales in the quarter, on an adjusted basis, up from 8.7% in the third quarter of 2015.
“The outlook for online retail is much different than the one for brick and mortar,” said Christian Magoon, chief executive officer of Amplify ETFs. “We wanted to provide a product that had little overlap with traditional brick and mortar offerings, to show that there’s an advantage to a fund with a tilt to online retail rather than traditional. Over the past year, it’s worked: not only has the performance been different, but online retail has benefited to the upside.”
Fund: Global X S&P 500 Catholic Values ETF CATH, +0.66%
Assets under management: $89.9 million
Expense Ratio: 0.29%
Launch date: April 18, 2016
30-day average volume: 15,000 (approximately)
12-month price move: up 13.9%
Benchmark performance (past 12 months): S&P 500 SPX, +0.76% up 12.2%
Top five holdings: Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.06% Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.71% Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.32% Facebook Inc. FB, -0.04% Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +0.65%
Strategy: The fund screens the S&P 500 through the guidelines of the United States Conference…