Tag Archives: TD Ameritrade

WisdomTree Wins ETF of Year at ETF.com Awards As ProShares Walks Away With 4 Statues

It’s award time again.

Much like Spring follows Winter, although reports of more snow this weekend are leading some to question that, the ETF industry starts its period of self-congratulations on the heels of the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes.

ETF.com, the self-proclaimed world’s leading authority on exchange-traded funds, started the season off with their second annual awards banquet.

“Our awards try to recognize the products that make a difference to investors,” said Matt Hougan, president of ETF.com. “The ones finding new areas to put money to work.” The awards are determined by a panel of experts chosen by ETF.com.

Held at The Lighthouse restaurant at New York’s Chelsea Piers March 19, ETF.com wins the prize for best party location. With picture windows overlooking the Hudson River, guests of the cocktail hour took in the sunset over New Jersey before the ceremony started.

The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity (HEDJ) was the big winner, grabbing the prize for ETF of the Year, while the Market Vectors ChinaAMC China Bond (CBON) won Best New ETF. Not quite sure what the difference is between those two awards, but obviously both funds stand out from the crowd of 117 ETFs issued in 2014.

However, ProShares swept the evening, as the single provider that won the most awards. The twin funds ProShares CDS North American HY Credit (TYTE) and CDS Short North American HY Credit (WYDE) claimed the awards for both Most Innovative New ETF and Best New Fixed-Income ETF.

“We designed these ETFs for investors who want high yield credit exposure that is isolated from interest rate risk,” said Steve Cohen, ProShares managing director.

The fund was also nominated for Best Ticker of the Year with its homophones for “tight” and “wide”. However, the awards announcer had a chuckle by claiming they really were pronounced “tighty whitey”, a reference to his jockey shorts. Best Ticker was awarded to HACK, the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF.

ProShares also won Best New Alternative ETF for the ProShares Morningstar Alternative Solution (ALTS) and Most Innovative ETF Issuer of the Year.

“We are always striving to deliver new and innovative products to allow investors to build better portfolios,” said ProShares Chief Executive Michael Sapir.

Lee Kranefuss, the man who created the iShares brand of ETFs and built them into the largest ETF issuer in the world won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the only speech of the night — thank goodness — Kranefuss said, “ETFs allow people to take control.” He likened ETFs to iTunes, saying “no longer are you limited to what the record company puts out.” He said he’s often been asked if he thought the ETF industry would take off like it has in the 15 years since iShares launched.

“Not really,” said Kranefuss, “we just put out the best products we could put out.”

The other award winners:

Best New U.S. Equity ETF – iShares Core Dividend Growth (DGRO)
Best New International/Global Equity ETF – Deutsche X-trackers Harvest MSCI All China Equity (CN)
Best New Commodity ETF – AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Euro (GEUR) and AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Yen (GYEN).
Best New Asset Allocation ETF – Global X /JPMorgan Efficiente (EFFE)
ETF Issuer of the Year – First Trust
New ETF Issuer of the Year – Reality Shares
Index Provider of the Year – MSCI
Index of the Year – Bloomberg Dollar Index
Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors – TD Ameritrade
Best ETF Offering for RIAs – Charles Schwab
Best ETF Issuer Website – BlackRock

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Xshares to Liquidate Last Four HealthShares

XShares Advisors announced on Wednesday that it plans to liquidate the four remaining HealthShares ETFs at the end of the year and subsequently dissolve the HealthShares registered investment company.

The four ETFs are the HealthShares Cancer Exchange Traded Fund (HHK), HealthShares European Drugs ETF (HRJ), HealthShares Diagnostics ETF (HHD), HealthShares Drug Discovery Tools ETF.(HHV).

The funds’ board of directors decided to take the action in light of the current market conditions. Since their inception the HealthShares funds had been unable to attract significant market interest. Launched in January 2007 as a family of 19 funds, HealthShares offered portfolios that tracked extremely narrow, highly specialized areas of the health-care industry, such as cardiology, orthopedics and dermatology.

In August, with only a total of $100 million in assets under management, Xshares, the investment advisor to the fund, closed 15 of the 19 ETFs. The four remaining funds held about half the total assets. Then in October, the benchmark indexes for the surviving four were redesigned to hold between 28 and 35 stocks, up from the 22 with which they originally launched. All four also lowered their expense ratios to 0.60%, except for European Drugs, which charged 0.72%. This move came on the heels of Xshares closing its AdelanteShares family of seven real estate ETFs in June. In their nine months of existence they accumulated only $17 million of assets under management. Also in June, Xshares sued its chairman, founders, current and former CEOs and others for fraud and other charges.

The HealthShares board on Wednesday said the funds’ future viability and prospects for growth in assets in the foreseeable future were not encouraging. Thus, the board determined that it was in the best interests of the funds and their shareholders to liquidate
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“We continue to believe in the fundamentals of the healthcare industry. Unfortunately under these tough market conditions, the Funds were unable to achieve meaningful investor traction,” said Joseph L. Schocken, chairman and chief executive officer of XShares Group, parent company of Xshares, in a written statement. “We remain strongly committed to bringing our products now under review to market. In 2009, we expect to launch additional products related to the environment and infrastructure.”

The TDAX series of lifecycle ETFs that XShares launched in partnership with TD Ameritrade continue to trade.

The HealthShares last day of trading on the NYSE Arca and the last day share may be purchased or redeemed will be Dec. 23. Trading will halt before the open Dec. 24. From Dec. 24, through Dec. 31, shareholders may sell their Shares to certain broker-dealers who may determine to continue to purchase such shares, but there can be no assurance that any broker-dealer will be willing to purchase the shares or that there will be a market for the shares. All shareholders remaining on Dec. 31, 2008 will receive cash equal to the amount of the net asset value of their shares that day.

For additional information about the liquidation, shareholders may call XShares at 1-800-925-2870.