WisdomTree Investments, the ETF firm known for its quasi-active index funds that use selection screens targeting dividends and earnings, is closing three ETFs—one a U.S. equities fund and the other two currency funds focused on the South African rand and the Japanese yen.
The New York-based company didn’t say in a press release exactly why it was shutting them, but it seems reasonable to deduce that the three ETFs were withering on the vine and not gathering enough assets to justify their continued operation.
The funds together make up about 0.15 percent of the New York-based company’s $17.06 billion in assets . The ETFs, which will stop trading on Dec. 3, as well as their assets as of Oct. 18, are as follows:
- WisdomTree LargeCap Growth Fund (ROI), $14.3 million
- WisdomTree Dreyfus South African Rand Fund (SZR), $4.54 million
- WisdomTree Dreyfus Japanese Yen Fund (JYF), $6.6 million
The shutdowns brings to 89 the number of funds that have shut so far this year, cementing 2012’s place in the record books in terms of ETF closures—and by a large measure. In 2011, 30 funds shut down, compared with 49 in 2010, 56 in 2009, 59 in 2008 and none in 2007, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse and available on our ETF Watch .
Most recently, Global X began shutting down four funds, which followed the two most conspicuous additions to the growing ETF graveyard:Scottrade’s 15 FocusShares ETFs and Russell’s entire lineup of ETFs , with the exception of one actively managed fund.
Still, it’s crucial to understand that the accelerating pace of closures has little to do with the continuing growth of ETFs in the broadest sense. The weaker and smaller funds vying for the same assets as older, more established ETF may be dying off, but investors in general are increasingly embracing ETFs.
Indeed, total U.S.-listed ETF assets reached a new record yesterday—Oct. 18, 2012—of more than $1.318 trillion , eclipsing the previous high of just under $1.317 trillion reached on Friday, Oct. 5.
WisdomTree said shareholders who don’t sell their fund shares by the Dec. 3 date when the ETFs stop trading will have their shares automatically redeemed on Dec. 10, their last day of operation.
It said investors needing additional information can find it on its Investor FAQ document .
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