From Barron’s Focus on Funds Blog: “I’m only half serious. But you can judge how “hot” a given investment niche is by how many exchange-traded funds are launched. And when something is “hot,” it’s often best to be skeptical.
“The craze for volatility-trading took off just after the financial crisis. Master-limited partnerships went bonkers after a few years of strong performance. Bond ETF flows were bananas in 2012, even though yields are stretched seemingly as far as they can go. And so forth.
“In that vein, you can count the number of commodity exchange-traded funds and notes launched in 2012 on two hands. Financial Products Research’s ETF Business Review counts ten. Maybe that’s worth viewing as a positive on commodities.
The commodity funds and notes that did launch last year didn’t accomplish much of anything when it comes to drawing assets. Here are the most successful, per FPR….