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Nashville ETF Faces Hurdles Before Making it to The Big Time


Nashville may be lauded as one of top business centers in the country but that might not be enough to persuade investors to use an exchange traded fund with a specific focus on the city.

LocalShares recently rolled out the Nashville Area ETF (NASH) , the first city-specific fund, that covers 10 health care companies, three health-care real estate investment trusts and a group of retailers, industrials and financials centered in Nashville. [Will Investors Dance to New Nashville ETF’s Tune?]

The city experienced the fastest job growth in 2012 and provides an environment for a high quality of life, writes Trang Ho for Investor’s Business Daily.

Nashville, home to over 300 health-care companies, is also known as America’s health-care hub.

Forbes has ranked the city and surrounding area as the fifth best place for businesses and careers.

The state of Tennessee also boasts a corporate tax rate of 6.5%, the 11th lowest in the U.S.

“We feel we are ideally situated for continued growth when you consider our geographical location and that Nashville is one of only a dozen major U.S. cities connected to three major interstates,” Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “These attributes along with our competitive tax structure and strong workforce have allowed for a diverse base of publicly traded headquartered companies, and our competitive economic development and recruiting programs have us poised for further growth.” [The First City-Specific ETF Targets Nashville Area]

However, Ho points out that there are a few hurdles the NASH ETF will have to overcome, including city bias, Nashville’s business environment, diversification and failed niche strategies.

Investors in today’s globalized economy don’t put much stock in where a company is company is headquartered and many don’t specifically single out companies in a specific city. Some even argue that more large companies should have also headquartered in Nashville if the business environment was a factor to success.

While not unheard of, the ETF has a smaller basket of 24 holdings, compared to larger funds. Consequently, this type of investment may be better suited as a small tactical holding, rather than a core investment portfolio component.

Historically, regional investments have not taken off either. Two state-specific ETFs, Texas Large Companies ETF (TXF) and Oklahoma ETF (OOK), launched in 2009 both closed due to poor investment demand after one year.

For more information on new fund products, visit our new ETFs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.