This is the week that actively managed exchange-traded funds get their biggest booster shot since they first arrived, less than five years ago.

Pacific Investment Management Co., aka PIMCO, launches the Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund (TRXT) on Thursday, which is March 1. Its manager: Bill Gross, who built the Total Return Fund into the world's largest mutual fund over the past 25 years. Its total assets exceed $250 billion by Morningstar's count, even after a down year in 2011.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.