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Another Decent Year for New ETFs


Last year, over 150 exchange traded products launched in the U.S. with about 20 being able to get to often highlighted $100 million in assets under management mark.

This year’s pace of asset gathering by new ETFs is similar, though slightly weaker than what was seen in 2013. There are have already been 155 new product launches in 2014, but just 16 have topped $75 million in assets under management while 11 have crossed $100 million in AUM, according to Morningstar data.

There is two and a half months left in 2014, meaning there is time for more rookie ETFs to join the $100 million club, but for now, there is one clear-cut winner when it comes to asset accumulation: The First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF (FV) , which debuted in early March, had $570 million in assets as of Oct. 14. That is more than combined AUM totals for the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (IEUR) and the iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (IPAC) , the second- and third-best asset gainers among 2014’s new ETFs, according to Morningstar data.

Doresy Wright’s indices that focus on relative strength and other technical factors serve as the benchmarks for scores of sector and specialized ETFs, many of which have delivered impressive out-performance of more plain vanilla competing products. FV has gained a rapid following because advisors were already familiar with the methodology backing the ETF prior to the fund’s launch. [A Fast-Growing Momentum ETF]

The Vident Core U.S. Equity ETF (VUSE) is fourth on the list with nearly $169 million in AUM. VUSE is the U.S. follow-up to the Vident International Equity Fund (VIDI) , which Atlanta-based Vident introduced last year. VIDI was one of 2013’s most successful ETF launches, racing to $500 million in AUM in just 12 weeks. [Vident's U.S. ETF Fast to $100M]

Capitalizing on investors’ thirst for low duration fixed income ETF, PIMCO introduced the PIMCO Low Duration Exchange-Traded Fund (LDUR) in January. LDUR, with an effective duration of 1.77 years, has $140.3 million in assets. The fund is managed by Jerome Schneider, who also manages the PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity ETF (MINT) , the largest actively managed ETF.

“Despite the upheaval at PIMCO, we see no cause for concern with LDUR, as Schneider has been and continues to be the manager of the ETF, which aims for an average portfolio duration of one to three years based on PIMCO’s forecast for interest rates,” said Morningstar analyst Robert Goldsborough in a new research note.

In terms of successful new ETFs from a single issuer, it is hard to top active manager WBI Investments. The New Jersey-based rolled out 10 active ETFs in July, quickly running to $1 billion in combined AUM. All 10 ETFs are on the Morningstar list of new ETFs with at least $75 million in assets. Led by the WBI Tactical Income Shares (WBII) , six of those 10 have over $100 million in assets.

First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF