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The Liquidity of an ETF is more important than assets in the fund



The Liquidity of an ETF is more important than assets in the fund

The Liquidity of an ETF is more important than assets in the fund (see the video below)


Our focus today is on ETFs, and there has been really no let-up to this explosion in ETFs. Your data shows that 31% of the new product launches were in the US this year as of May- your latest data. Generally speaking, how much of these have staying power? How do they fare in terms of liquidity and should investors avoid new ETFs until they get a little bit of track record or traction?


Well, that’s a good question. So typically, most of the providers of ETFs are trying to do homework to figure out what types of exposures in products do and investors want. So often you’re seeing that even pensions funds might partner with an ETF provider to seed and launch a new product. So, many of the new products are being endorsed by larger investors. So I think you do want to first look at is the exposure of something you want.

So just because something new has come to market may not be appropriate for you as an investor, because many have very niche exposures. But I do think many are good long-term viable. We’re seeing assets grow. It’s important to remember that even though a product is small in terms of assets, the liquidity of an ETF really comes from how liquid the underlying basket is, because ETFs trade like a stock. But when there’s big orders, the brokers can go and trade that underlying basket.

So an easy example is S&P 500. If the ETF is only trading, say, 100,000 shares every day but someone wanted to invest $100 million, the broker can trade that underlying basket in the right weight, they send it to the custodian and the ETF gets bigger. So that’s creation redemption process. So real liquidity is something the issuers take a lot of detailed interest in making sure that the underlying basket is liquid. And then liquidity really comes from that.

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