Nearly 300 funds launched during 2017.
These five ETFs stood out thanks to their performance, their innovative methodology or their theme.
iShares Core MSCI International Developed Markets ETF (IDEV)
The fund rolled out in March and had amassed more than $900 million before the end of the year, making it the biggest debut for 2017. Its offering is straight forward: it gives exposure to a large basket of securities from developed foreign nations while charging a small 0.07% expense ratio.
Its launch came right as investors are showing increasing interest to international ETFs. As experts predict a continued focus on overseas markets, the future is bright for IDEV.
First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (ROBT)
Technically launched in the first few months of 2018, ROBT stood out because there are only three ETFs focused on the artificial intelligence space.
It tracks the Nasdaq CTA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Index, which itself tracks the performance of companies engaged in the artificial intelligence and robotics segment of the technology, industrial, medical and other sectors. The index is developed by Nasdaq and the Consumer Technology Association.
AI is still in its early days but is slated to change dramatically the ways companies and people operate whether it impacts supply chain management or transportation with self-driving cars.
AI Powered Equity ETF (AIEQ)
This fund is certainly innovative. It uses artificial intelligence technology to select stocks by scanning regulatory filings, news articles, social media posts and traditional financial metrics, to identify undervalued investments.
It launched with $2.5 million in assets and ended the year with more than $70 million.
ETF Industry Exposure & Financial Services ETF (TETF)
Launched in April 2017 by Toroso Investments, the fund gives investors the possibility to access companies driving and participating in the growth of the exchange traded fund industry.
This is not just a growing list of ETF sponsors but also includes other publicly-traded companies that derive revenue from the ETF industry such as index and data companies, trading and custody partners, liquidity providers, and exchanges.
Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media and Entertainment ETF
Announced in the past year, the ETF named after the famous music producer shows that streaming is clearly here to stay in the US and is also rapidly developing in other less developed parts of the world.
Not launched yet, it will follow the Quincy 100 Index, which is equally weighed among 100 underlying stocks of streaming music and media companies with at least $1 billion in market value such as Apple, SoftBank Group, Netflix and Amazon.
The new fund is being created by Exchange Traded Concepts, which offers ETF-in- a-box options for money managers who want to start new funds.