Money goes where it's treated best. That simple truth is a big reason why more and more money—trillions, in fact—flows into a powerful, low-cost tool that's quietly transformed investing in recent years. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, let you invest in everything from the stock market to gold like never before. This biweekly podcast will demystify them—and delight you in the process.
Invasion of the ANT ETFs
For years, active mutual funds sat and watched the boom in ETFs from the sidelines, unwilling to participate as it would mean showing their holdings every day. But now they can jump in thanks to a new type of structure that allow them to trade like an ETF but not have to show their holdings every day. These active non-transparent (ANT) ETFs are especially appealing to fund companies with trillions in assets.
On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel speak with Greg Friedman, Head of ETF Management and Strategy at Fidelity, and Scott Livingston, Global Head of ETFs at T. Rowe Price. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Morgan Barna joins to discuss how the ETFs work, how the companies plan to find investors, and what to make of mutual funds conversions.
Robots and the Future of Health Care
Thematic ETFs need to do two things to attract cash: crush the market and capture the imagination. There's no better example of this than the ETFs coming out of ROBO Global, the indie issuer responsible for the blockbuster hit ROBO and the newer upstart HTEC. The latter tracks the companies shaping the future of health care, and is currently doubling the returns of the S&P Health Care Index.
On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel speak with Nina Deka, an ETF specialist for the company who spent 13-plus years in the health care sector. The group discusses all the ways technology is changing health care, the intricate designs of HTEC and ROBO's indices, and how investors should think about using them in a portfolio.
A Halloween-Inspired Stroll Through the ETF Graveyard (Which Is Getting Really Crowded)
Death has become a growing part of life in the ETF industry. The number closures in 2020 has already blown away the old record with the total number of gravestones already numbering more than 1,100 -- and that's with two months to go yet. One surprise: Few closures are directly related to the pandemic. So what's behind this year's shuttering? And what does it mean for investors?
On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel seek to answer these questions and more -- including how to take kids trick-or-treating -- with the help of Claire Ballentine, a cross-asset reporter for Bloomberg News, and Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of ETF and mutual fund research for CFRA.
The 2020 SPAC Attack Hits ETF Land
One of the most interesting developments in finance this year has been the sudden popularity of the SPAC, or special-purpose acquisition company. A novel way to raise money and take companies public, SPACs are flourishing with more than 60 formed since the beginning of their big breakout year. And while they've certainly made headlines, they've actually existed for years.
On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel discuss the phenomenon and what it all means with Julian Klymochko of Accelerate Financial Technologies, a SPAC pioneer whose Canadian-listed $ARB ETF offers some exposure to what he considers a new asset class, as well as Josef Schuster of IPOX Schuster, whose index is used for the $FPX ETF that tracks recent IPOs -- and now one SPAC.
The Secretive Committee Behind the S&P 500
Few organizations in finance are as mysterious as the committee that oversees the S&P 500 — a group that recently decided to exclude Tesla despite the company seeming to check all the required boxes. On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel — along with Katherine Greifeld of Bloomberg News — speak with David Blitzer, who headed the S&P index committee from 1995 until his retirement in 2019. They discuss the Tesla tantrum, why the identities of committee members aren’t public, how the group makes decisions, criticisms of passive indexing, and even the hypothetical path Eric would need to take to get a seat at the table.
Goldman's Hit ETF Looks Like the Future of Active Investing
In the ETF Terrordome, nothing comes easy for issuers -- even if your name is Goldman Sachs. The asset management arm of the storied Wall Street firm launched its first ETF five years ago. Investors have put about $20 billion into the funds to date, a decent start for a relative newcomer. Half those assets are in $GSLC, which was a true game-changer in the smart-beta category and may represent the future of active investing.
On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel -- along with Katherine Greifeld of Bloomberg News -- interview Cole Feinberg, an ETF specialist with Goldman, about how the firm views the industry, where the team sees white space, what's behind GSLC's success, and how a project like $JUST comes together with Paul Tudor Jones.