While exchange-traded funds have been one of the biggest-selling mutual fund categories, small, niche products are finding it hard to make a go of it. Of the 129 new exchange-traded funds introduced this year, 37, or 28%, are already closed.
In 2008, investment advisors closed 50 of the 100 or so ETFs introduced, and in 2009, they shuttered 51 of, again, 100 new ETFs to hit the market. In the entire 15 years prior, only 10 ETFs had closed down.
“The business is so competitive that there’s never a chance to relax,” said David Abner, director of institutional sales at WisdomTree Investments, told The Wall Street Journal. WisdomTree closed 10 of its ETFs in March, which amounted to a mere 3% of its ETF assets under management.