Rank #1: The Paradox of Choice
Right now there are about 2,100 ETFs -- 2,078 if you want to get specific about it. That's a lot of stuff to choose from. How should you approach navigating a store with this much selection? One aisle at a time.
On the second episode of Bloomberg’s new podcast, Trillions, we take a stroll through the most popular aisles to meet some ETFs and get a better sense of the offerings. From the Cheerios of equities to the fresh produce of bonds, this episode provides an entertaining and incredibly simple way to make sense of ETFs and why they allow investors to ride capitalists' coattails.
Dec 14 2017
Rank #2: Under the Hood
What questions should you ask about an ETF before you make an investment? What about when two or three ETFs seem practically the same? In this episode, Todd Rosenbluth, a mutual fund and ETF analyst with CFRA, joins the podcast to discuss his due diligence checklist. This is a topic that can get weedy in a hurry; if you're new to ETFs, just think of it like you're looking under the hood of a car. Start by evaluating the holdings, weightings, and costs, and then you can start wading into next-level stuff like liquidity and volatility. By the end of this episode, you'll learn how expert analysts view any ETF.
Dec 28 2017
Rank #3: Is Direct Indexing Coming for the ETF?
ETFs compete with just about everything, including mutual funds, options, derivatives, and even single security investing. Another competitor is direct indexing, which means investing in a customized portfolio directly -- bypassing the fund's "wrapper" altogether.
On this week’s Trillions, Joel and Eric sit down with Brian Langstraat, the CEO of Parametric, the largest direct indexing provider. He explains what direct indexing is, who it's best for, what the benefits and drawbacks are, and why it isn’t really an “ETF killer,” as some have claimed. Morgan Barna of Bloomberg Intelligence joins the discussion as well.
Nov 14 2019
Rank #4: The Mystery of Smart-Beta, Explained
Smart-beta is one of the hottest trends in not just ETFs but all of investment management. Assets in the category have grown from $0 to almost $1 trillion in barely a decade. But what is it, exactly?
On this week’s Trillions, Joel and Eric explore the mysteries of smart-beta. To some, it's all a mutation of passive indexing; to others, it's a better, cheaper version of active management. "Imagine R2D2 with the head of Peter Lynch," says Eric.
And to help you understand how investors can use the products, Nir Kaissar, a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist and financial advisor, and Tom Psarofagis, an ETF analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence and former issuer of smart-beta ETFs, join to offer their perspectives.
Apr 19 2018
Rank #5: Tell Us Something We Don’t Know About QQQ
If ETFs had a Mount Rushmore, QQQ (aka 'The Qs') would definitely be on it. This $72 billion legend of an ETF just turned 20 years old and is now the second most traded security in the world. But how much do investors really know about it?
On this week’s Trillions Carolina Wilson of Bloomberg News sets out to the Midwest with microphone in hand to talk to those who built the original index and the ETF as well as tracked its changes over the years. Her journey lead to some interesting discoveries as well as a trip to the Chicago zoo, where she actually got a lion to roar.
May 16 2019
Rank #6: Delusional ETF Trading with Sarah Newton
When life handed Sarah Newton lemons, she used ETFs to make lemonade. Or at least to keep herself busy. On this week's Trillions we speak to Sarah, a self-taught, do-it-yourself ETF trader who says she's still up after 6 years. She shares her fascinating story of how she got here as well as tips on trading ETFs and what areas of the market she likes for 2019.
Feb 07 2019
Rank #7: What Went Up: Talking Markets with Mike and Sarah
It was nothing short of a spectacular year for the U.S. stock market. Oh, and fixed income. And emerging markets. And gold. Basically everything went up — even if it didn’t necessarily feel that way. But why exactly? And what might next year hold for investors? How crucial is the Fed? The election? So many questions...
On this episode of Trillions we talk all things markets with Michael Regan and Sarah Ponczek from one of our favorite fellow Bloomberg podcasts called “What Goes Up?” in what may be the greatest crossover event since the Harlem Globetrotters landed on Gilligan’s Island.
Dec 12 2019
Rank #8: No Jacket Required: Inside the World of New School Wealth Management
One of the main drivers behind the rise of ETFs and index funds is the fast-changing world of wealth management. RIAs have always been the early adopters of ETFs and remain big users today.
On this episode of Trillions, we explore their world via a new conference by advisors for advisors called WealthStack. These are not your father's stock brokers but rather a younger, more casual, fiduciary-minded, tech driven group of wealth managers looking to stay ahead of the curve. We interviewed about a dozen attendees on topics such as the future of advice, ETFs, social media, concerns over passive, technology and direct indexing.
Sep 19 2019
Rank #9: ETF Regime Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
Markets no longer look quite so utopic and a new kind of reality seems to be emerging. As investors turn defensive, ETFs that would normally be ignored or rendered useless during the FANG-topia of yesteryears -- short-term debt ETFs, utilities, and low-volatility stocks -- are seeing massive inflows and staging a comeback.
Joel and Eric are joined by Carolina Wilson of Bloomberg News and Tom Psarafagis of Bloomberg Intelligence to discuss these market "regime changes" and which ETFs are seeing the most action.
Dec 13 2018
Rank #10: Disruption as an Investment Thesis
Cathie Wood, founder of ARK Invest, is a successful stock picker in the era of passive. Her actively managed ETFs, which focus entirely on disruptive themes, have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to find success both in returns and flows. Her bold calls, high conviction and transparent approach has attracted fans and investors -- along with some haters.
On this episode of Trillions, Cathie and Rachel Evans of Bloomberg News join Joel and Eric to discuss her approach to picking stocks, identifying disruptive companies and the importance of thinking outside the box. We also explore the risks of being in such a high conviction, high active share ETF.
Jul 11 2019
Rank #11: Welcome to the World of VIX ETPs
Despite -99% returns, burning through billions, and the occasional controversy, exchange-traded products (ETPs) that track a volatility index called the VIX are flirting with record flows and volume this year thanks to a loyal audience of traders who love their jackpot potential. On this episode of Trillions, Greg King, who was behind some of the most popular products before founding Rex Shares, and Luke Kawa of Bloomberg News, who often writes about volatility, join Joel and Eric for the ultimate power-tool discussion. The group gives an overview of what investors need to know about the products, how they gained some infamy with the 2018 termination of XIV, and some developments to look out for.
Oct 31 2019
Rank #12: ETF Tank
The market for exchange-traded funds is getting nasty. Especially for new ETFs. Carving out a niche for one is becoming increasingly difficult.
There are already more than 2,000 exchange-traded products out there and the market has started to feel saturated. Only about 1 percent of new ETF proposals actually ever make it to market. And of that 1 percent that do, 10 of them flop when they get there for every one that takes off. A great concept, a clever ticker symbol and a sharp pitch -- something that’s both clear and powerful -- are crucial. So too is lining up seed capital. An ETF’s chance of success increases markedly if it comes with some initial money behind it.
So, given this trend in the market, we dedicated this episode of Trillions to a competition in the Bloomberg newsroom -- a Shark Tank-esque sort of showdown -- to see who could come up with the best pitch for a new ETF.
Apr 04 2019
Rank #13: Your ETF Guide to the Trade War
Trade tensions and tariffs are a new variable for investors. How should investors differentiate between noise and reality? Should they adjust their portfolio? What ETFs can be used? Joel and Eric are joined by reporter Sarah Ponczek and advisor John Davi to discuss.
Jul 12 2018
Rank #14: Looking Into BlackRock's Crystal Ball
There are over 120 U.S. ETF issuers, but only one has more than $1 trillion in assets, over 300 products and knows what it is like to beat Vanguard: BlackRock. The asset manager made the equivalent of the Louisiana Purchase when it acquired iShares from Barclays in 2009, a move that has made them the most dominant player in the industry. Joel and Eric interview Martin Small, head of U.S. iShares, about ETFs, investing and his insatiable appetite for guitars.
May 31 2018
Rank #15: 10 Billion Served: The Unsung Role of an ETF Market Maker
There’s been roughly 10 billion individual ETF trades in the past 25 years with almost no issues. This McDonald’s-esque track record of happy customers is one of the reasons ETFs have become so popular. One of the main reasons behind the stellar track record of trading is the important role played by ETF market makers, who provide liquidity for popular ETFs but also lesser traded ones— stepping in to be a buyer or a seller when there are none.
On this week’s Trillions, Eric and Joel speak with veteran ETF market maker Chris Hempstead of Deutsche Bank as well as Annie Massa of Bloomberg News, who just wrote about the secretive market maker Susquehanna in the latest issue of Bloomberg Markets. The discussion covers ETF mechanics, liquidity, and poker. Yes, poker.
Nov 29 2018
Rank #16: The ETF Space Race
Now that pretty much everything has been ETF-ized here on Planet Earth, issuers are looking beyond this world into the final frontier: space. While this may sound "out there," analysts expect the industry to grow to over $3 trillion in the next 30 years. But how, exactly, do you invest in space? What do the ETFs hold? And what about aliens?
On this episode , Bloomberg News reporter Rachel Evans takes a field trip into the world of space exploration for a closer look of the nascent industry and a better understanding of the ETFs offering exposure. She joins Eric and Joel to discuss why capturing profits in space may take a long time.
Jan 10 2019
Rank #17: What’s the Deal With ESG ETFs?
Separating hope from hype can feel especially daunting when you look at ETF investing through an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) lens. One reason is that, while ESG draws a lot of media attention, the category itself has only drawn about $7 billion despite dozens of products and new launches. Is apathy or subjectivity the bigger culprit here? Or are investors simply befuddled by yet another acronym?
This week, Joel and Eric explore ESG investing, why it matters and how to practically apply it to a portfolio using an ETF. They are joined by ESG advisor and expert Graham Sinclair as well as Matt Bartolini of SPDR, who's helped bring several ESG ETFs to market.
Jan 24 2019
Rank #18: Are “Buffered” ETFs the Next Big Thing?
Would you give up some stock market upside for some downside protection? That's the value proposition for a fast growing new category of annuity-like ETFs that do just that. They are the creation of ETF veteran Bruce Bond, who is known to many as the founder of PowerShares.
On this week's Trillions we speak with Bruce as well as Carolina Wilson from Bloomberg News about what sparked the idea for the products, how they work and what the drawbacks are.
Oct 17 2019
Rank #19: The Heartbeat Trade
ETFs provide unique tax capabilities. And according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, some of those unique capabilities are being utilized to their fullest potential. While that might actually benefit the average investor, should society examine a deal this sweet more closely?
Zach Mider and Rachel Evans of Bloomberg News join Joel and Eric to discuss their reporting, the nuances of heartbeat trades, and the controversy surrounding the article.
Apr 18 2019
Rank #20: ETF Rising Stars
While the very largest ETFs attract the bulk of flows, a few smaller products manage to beat the odds and emerge from obscurity each year to capture investors' imagination and assets. Over the past year, growth in robotics, the Internet and China have led to outsized investments into smaller ETFs.
On this week's Trillions, Joel and Eric highlight and analyze up-and-comer ETFs of the past, present and future. They are joined by Bloomberg News' Carolina Wilson on a mission to find the next big things in ETF Land.
Apr 05 2018