The newest exchange-traded funds to hit the market appear to be edging toward active management, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Based on custom indexes or models that select companies that meet certain financial criteria from indexes, the new ETFs offer "active management in an ETF shell," according to Ronald DeLegge, publisher of ETFguide.com.

"We're trying to compete for actively managed money," said Dan Waldron, vice president of ETF product development at First Trust Portfolios.

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