Inside ETFs 2020: The Evolution of ETFs?

For the 8th year running, I’m coming to you from the largest ETF conference in the world in South Florida. It’s a no brainer conference to attend for anyone interested in ETFs and it’s South Florida in the Winter (LOL). This conference brings together the who’s who in the ETF industry for a lively discussion on The Evolution of ETFs. Active ETFs are amongst the biggest growth areas as are thematic investing like ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). One of my favourite sessions is always the people’s choice award of the best ETF of the year. The best ETF is not always the one with the best performance or the highest asset growth. A few years ago we featured the “SHE” SSGA Gender Diversity ETF that won the top choice award pink shirts and all. In the era of #MeToo it was a very popular choice. Today that ETF has about $143MM in assets and has done an ok job tracking the S&P 500, but has underperformed in the recent “melt-up” months.

Last year we introduced viewers to defined outcome ETFs from as a way to stay invested without worrying too much about market volatility.

One ETF that I have added recently to my sleep-at-night portfolios is BTAL.N or QBTL.T. The AGFiQ US Market Neutral Anti-Beta ETFs are up for a people’s choice award this year at the conference. The ETF tracks an index that is long 100% of the best low beta stocks and short 100% of the most expensive highest beta stocks. It offers an “anti” beta or negative market risk exposure, but is theoretically market neutral being long 100% and short 100%. The US version has been out since September 2011. Since then, it has basically made no money, which tells you it’s not a buy and hold strategy. But in an environment where markets are overvalued and I’m looking to make money in a challenged market environment, it offers some upside potential.

I’ve paired the ETF with a great new BMO ETF (ZPAY) that is designed find the best high quality stocks in the US market and write puts and calls on these companies to generate about a 6%+ yield and with lower risk than the market. Purpose ETFs has a similar strategy in PYF that I’ve often recommended for higher yield seekers that are looking for a smoother portfolio experience. Over the past 2 years, we can see the combination of ETFs smooths out the returns, which is ideally what the ideal of our ZZZD (sleep-at-night) ETF is all about.

Our upcoming Spring BNN Bloomberg Roadshow will focus on how to include more active based ETFs into your portfolios. From ESG, Defined Outcome, to Alternative (long\short) each more active style has their place. Millennials might like to tilt portfolios towards a more environmentally friendly portfolio, where more risk adverse investors may like defined outcomes, while more adventurous may seek to make money in adverse conditions and might seek out alternatives. Come out to see how these new and growing areas of ETFs can be included in your portfolios. As always, we ask for a voluntary donation in support of Dementia and Alzheimer’s research at the Baycrest Hospital to attend. We have raised more than $500,000 in the past decade thanks in part to BNN Viewers and a matching donation from Larry.

Spring 2020 Tour Dates
Click here to register for free

  • Halifax, NS – Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • Laval, QC – Thursday, March 19, 2020
  • Ottawa, ON – Saturday, March 21, 2020
  • Saskatoon, SK – Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • Winnipeg, MB – Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Toronto, ON – Sunday, April 5, 2020
  • London, ON – Tuesday, April 14, 2020
  • Waterloo, ON – Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  • Newmarket, ON – Sunday, April 19, 2020
  • Edmonton, AB – Wednesday, April 22, 2020
  • Calgary, AB – Saturday, April 25, 2020
  • Kelowna, BC – Tuesday, May 5, 2020
  • Victoria, BC – Wednesday, May 6, 2020
  • Vancouver, BC – Saturday, May 9, 2020

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