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No Gimmick Here As SoFi Extends No Fee Waiver On 2 ETFs For Another Year

ETF Professor
·2 mins read

Last year, fintech company SoFi introduced its first batch of exchange traded funds, including a pair with no annual fees.

Even today's climate of seemingly never ending fee cuts on ETFs, some critics asserted SoFi's no fee scheme was just that: a scheme and a ploy to gain attention among investors. The issuer is showing it's no gimmick.

What Happened

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, California-based SoFi said it's extending the no fee waivers on the SoFi Select 500 ETF (NYSE: SFY) and the SoFi Next 500 ETF (NYSE: SFYX) for another year.

That means the number of no fee ETFs is now five when including SFY, SFYX, a pair of recent launches from Bank of New York Mellon and the Salt Low truBeta US Market ETF (CBOE: LSLT), which features a fee rebate program.

Why It's Important

What's interesting about SFY not carrying an expense ratio is that it's basically a smart beta fund, a class of ETFs that usually sport higher fees than their cap-weighted rivals. SFY provides exposure to the 500 largest domestic companies and “weights each company based on three key growth signals—not just market capitalization as many traditional indexed ETFs do,” according to SoFi.

The same is true of SFYX, which is classified as a mid-cap growth fund. In either case — growth, mid-cap or a combination of those styles — those funds cost more than their cap-weighted equivalents. SFYX tracks the Solactive SoFi US Next 500 Growth Index.

What's Next

Another SoFi SEC filing indicates the issuer is changing the underlying index for its SoFi 50 ETF (NYSE: SFYF). Currently, that fund follows the Solactive SoFi US 50 Growth Index, a collection of companies with strong sales growth and robust forward sales estimates.

SFYF will soon move to the SoFi Social 50 Index.

“The Index is designed to reflect the 50 most widely held U.S.-listed equity securities in the SoFi Accounts as weighted by aggregate holdings within the SoFi Accounts. Securities eligible for inclusion in the Index must: (a) be U.S.-listed equity securities held in SoFi Accounts, and (b) have an average daily trading volume of at least $10,000,000 during the preceding one-month and six-month periods,” according to the filing.

SoFi had over 100,000 self-directed accounts at the end of the first quarter.

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