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PIMCO Debuts First Actively Managed ETF


In what may be the most anticipated ETF launch of the year, the PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca: TXRT) began trading today.

The new PIMCO ETF is managed by the firm's founder, Bill Gross, and the fund is the first actively managed ETF issued by the Newport Beach, CA-based investment firm.

TXRT invests primarily in investment grade debt securities, and discloses all portfolio holdings on a daily basis. The average portfolio duration normally varies within two years (plus or minus) of the benchmark Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Index, and the fund does not use options, futures or swaps.

Gross is manager of the world's largest bond mutual fund, the PIMCO Total Return Fund (Nasdaq: PTTAX - News).

While Gross's long-term track record is impressive, his performance over the past year has stalled. PTTAX gained just 3.74 percent in 2011, falling short of the 7.84% gain for the total U.S. bond market benchmark. Gross's ill-timed calls on the direction of U.S. Treasuries contributed to the fund's underperformance. PTTAX charges annual expenses of 0.90 percent.

TXRT invests across multiple sectors of the fixed income market and charges an annual expense ratio of 0.55 percent.

Other ETF Launches

State Street Global Advisors added the SPDR MSCI EM 50 ETF (NYSEArca: EMFT - News) and the SPDR MSCI ACWI IMI ETF (NYSEArca: ACIM - News) to its ETF lineup.

EMFT is linked to the MSCI EM 50 Index, which is market cap weighted and holds the 50 largest stocks within the broader MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The fund's annual expense ratio is 0.50 percent.

ACIM follows the MSCI All Country World Investable Market Index, which captures up to 98 percent of the developed and emerging investable market universe. As of December 31, 2011, the Index was comprised of 8,920 publicly traded securities across 45 countries. ACIM has an annual expense ratio of 0.25 percent.

'The SPDR MSCI ACWI IMI ETF provides investors with an opportunity to capture the global equity investment opportunity set in a single trade,' said James Ross, global head of exchange-traded funds at State Street Global.  'As awareness of the benefits of reducing home country bias in a portfolio grows, global equity is increasingly viewed as a single, core asset class.'

At the end of January 2012, State Street managed $287.59 billion in 107 ETPs.

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