Author: Aaron Neuwirth

SPCX – Tuttle Tactical Management Launches SPAC & New Issue ETF, ‘SPCX'

On Wednesday, Tuttle Tactical Management (TTM), an experienced industry leader in Trend Aggregation, launched the SPAC and New Issue ETF (NYSE: SPCX), which is now available for trading on the NYSE. SPCX is the first actively-managed ETF that gives investors direct exposure to the disruptive capital markets theme of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs).

“The SPAC market has traditionally been hard to access for all but a small group of institutional investors,” says Matthew Tuttle, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of TTM, which serves as the Advisor to SPCX.

He continues, “As there is limited information on publicly-traded SPACs, selecting the right SPAC in which to invest can seem like a daunting task. SPCX offers investors a broad portfolio of SPACs within the familiar liquid and tax-efficient wrapper of an ETF.”

As an alternative to the traditional initial public offering (IPO) process, SPAC IPOs have witnessed an acceleration in popularity in 2020. Through December 8, there have been 217 SPAC IPOs year-to-date, with gross proceeds exceeding $74 billion. That compares to 59 SPAC IPOs in 2019 representing $13.6 billion in gross proceeds.

“Although the increased number of SPAC issuances has helped to fuel investor appetite in the space, we are encouraged not only by the larger deal sizes we’ve seen in 2020 but by the number of experienced and high-profile managers that have raised capital via the SPAC route this year,” Mr. Tuttle commented.

He also noted that, “While the IPO pipeline looks robust for 2021, the SPAC market is one of rapid change and opportunity. As a result, we feel the most appropriate strategy for managing a portfolio of SPACs is through active management as it can be more flexible in reacting to market events. This is no place for an index fund based on a rigid set of rules.”

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RBND – SSGA Digs Into First Fixed Income ESG Fund, ‘RBND'

On Tuesday, NYSE spoke with Noel Archard, CFA, Global Head of SPDR Product at State Street SPDR ETFs, about the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Corporate Bond ESG Select ETF (RBND), on “What’s the Fund.” This will be SSGA’s first fixed income ESG ETF.

With continued use of ESG investments by investors, who are attempting to mitigate risks, deliver long-term, sustainable returns, or express values for preferences through their portfolio choices, there have been frequent requests from SSGA’s clients concerning more choices in the fixed income ESG space, much like how the early products focused on equity themes.

“This core fixed-income building block will help finance and incorporate ESG into their bond portfolios,” Archard explains.

He continues, “The goal of the fund is to help create a diversified, investment-grade corporate fixed-income ESG exposure while looking to match the risk and return characteristics of the parent non-ESG corporate fixed-income benchmark. RBND represents a best-in-class ESG approach that can be used as an alternative for traditional core fixed-income exposures.”

The starting index is the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate Index. From that universe, issues involved in or derive significant revenue from six controversial categories are removed, as well as securities that don’t have an ESG score.

The remaining securities are weighted to maximize their ESG score within the SASB materiality framework while still looking to minimize that benchmark’s active total risks. To clarify, SASB (the sustainable accounting status boards) is an independent, non-profit organization that helps public corporations disclose financially immaterial information to investors.

“This concept of materiality sheds light on which ESG metrics might be more relevant to a company, depending on the line of business it’s in,” Archard notes. “Given all of this, RBND might be considered for use with both ESG and non-ESG fixed-income allocations.”

Above all, SSGA remains focused on total costs and long-term ownership. With that in mind, the expense ratio of RBND is 12 bases points.

To learn more about this fund and SSGA’s ESG overview, visit their website.

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MGMT – Ballast Asset Management Enters ETF Market With Equity Fund, ‘MGMT'

Ballast Asset Management (“Ballast”), a fundamental equity manager, launched the Ballast Small/Midcap ETF (NYSE: MGMT) on Thursday. This is one of the first ETFs to trade small capitalization equities actively.

In Ballast’s opinion, small and mid-cap companies comprise a market segment that is both inefficient and poised for growth. Ballast seeks stellar management teams leading high-quality, smaller companies positioned to sustain growth and achieve success in the face of economic uncertainty.

MGMT is the newest entrant into a space that has traditionally been dominated by passive index ETFs. The investment team behind MGMT employs a rigorous research process to evaluate small and mid-cap companies and seeks to avoid companies that may not perform well.

In contrast, passive small-cap ETFs may invest in low-quality and potentially distressed companies alongside higher-quality counterparts. Ballast’s process is designed to uncover and invest in higher-quality companies led by outstanding management teams, which they believe will offer investors the opportunity to diversify their assets and potentially earn exceptional returns.

“Investing in great management teams has been a hallmark of our approach for years,” said Ragen Stienke, Founder and Portfolio Manager of Ballast Asset Management, the advisor to MGMT. “Our team dedicates significant time toward building relationships with management teams who have demonstrated an ability to act in the best interest of shareholders.”

Proper Management For MGMT

Ballast’s investment process scrutinizes compensation structures, assesses management’s alignment with shareholders, and evaluates responsible capital deployment.

“In today’s economic environment, we are particularly interested in executives who can understand and effectively respond to macroeconomic and industry shocks,” added Stienke. “First and foremost, we strive to minimize losses and downside volatility. Further, we seek to invest in such a way that our investors benefit when a company successfully pivots in the face of change.”

MGMT retains the flexibility to continue to own high-quality compounders as they successfully execute their strategies.

“When our work indicates a company is poised for success, we want our investors to benefit as long as the reward to risk balance remains in their favor. We don’t want to be forced to sell simply because of a market capitalization limit,” Stienke commented. “Other small cap strategies are often required to sell their best performers before intrinsic value is fully realized.”

For more information on Ballast’s ETF offering, visit

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KVLE – Krane Funds Advisors Launches Core Equity Index ETF, ‘KVLE'

Krane Funds Advisors, LLC, the investment manager for KFA Funds and KraneShares ETFs, announced the launch of the KFA Value Line Dynamic Core Equity Index ETF (KVLE) on the NYSE on Tuesday.

KVLE is sub-advised by Lee Capital Management (LCM) and benchmarked to the Value Line Dynamic Core Equity Index, which introduces a market adaptive approach to investing in US large-cap companies. The strategy seeks to capture quality US companies based on a three-factor process that selects stocks among Value Line’s safety and timeliness ranking systems. LCM subsequently applies proprietary quantitative modeling that incorporates a unique set of risk management tools to adjust the overall portfolio’s risk profile based on the market environment.

“Investors rely on Value Line’s time-tested ranks to make decisions with confidence,” said Mitchell Appel, Chief Executive Officer of EULAV Asset Management, the investment manager to the Value Line Funds.” We are pleased to be a licensing partner to Krane Funds Advisors and Lee Capital Management, who serve as advisor and non-discretionary sub-advisor respectively to this new ETF for investors.”

“Today’s markets call for a practical approach to building portfolios. We believe that through quantitative modeling, it is possible to identify when risk outweighs reward in the market,” said Nathan Eigerman, co-CIO at Lee Capital Management.

He continued, “On top of Value Line’s ranking system, we employ a market adaptive approach that seeks to reduce the negative impact of the worst return periods while capturing the expected long-term capital appreciation provided by equities.”

“Partnering with Lee Capital Management for their quantitative approach to risk management and proprietary overlay to the Value Line ranking system distinguishes KVLE from other smart beta strategies,” said Jonathan Krane, CEO of Krane Funds Advisors. “KVLE is an exciting new addition to our KFA Funds line of ETFs.”

For more information about KVLE, visit, or talk to your financial advisor.

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IWM – ETF of the Week: iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)

ETF Trends CEO Tom Lydon discussed the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) on this week’s “ETF of the Week” podcast with Chuck Jaffe on the MoneyLife Show.

This ETF is one of several offering exposure to the Russell 2000 Index, a widely followed measure of small-cap U.S. stocks. Given this investment objective, IWM may be useful in several different ways; more active investors may use this fund as a way to establish short-term exposure to a risky asset class when risk tolerance is expected to climb, while IWM can also be appealing as a way of accessing an asset class that should be included in any long-term, buy-and-hold portfolio.

With a change in market leadership, the small-capitalization Russell 2000 index just enjoyed its first closing high in over two years, boosted by the prospects of a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that hobbled global economies and disproportionately weighed on smaller companies.

The Russell 2000 index finished the week ended Friday up a 6.1%, far outstripping the return for its large-cap counterparts. The all-time closing high also ended the Russell 2000’s longest record drought since April 2011. It went 554 trading days without a new record close through last November 12. It’s the third-longest record drought on record.

The last time the Russell 2000 index scored an all-time closing high was August 2018, and the last time the S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 finished at records on the same day was also 2018.

Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes a Game-Changer

A report by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday, which indicated that a coronavirus experimental vaccine was 90% effective, sparking hope that cures and remedies for the deadly illness may be in the offing as a resurgence of the virus is at hand. BioNTech’s CEO Ugur Sahin said the vaccine might have longevity for up to a year with the potential to ” reimmunize” following.

Eli Lilly is also making progress on its own vaccine Economists, including Moody’s John Lonski, argue a vaccine is a game-changer for economic growth that has been trampled by the pandemic. Businesses, including restaurants, shopping malls, commercial real estate, hotels, and airlines, need to see consumer demand snap-back, which is not likely until a vaccine is approved and delivered to the general public.

Biden and Stimulus

Investors are hoping that a victory for Biden would translate to spending on the coronavirus aid package, along with spending on programs for everything from infrastructure to renewable-energy projects. The current environment is reminiscent of a similar situation four years ago when markets were betting on a Donald Trump victory and the increased spending on infrastructure programs and deregulation that would support small-caps.

Also may not see a Biden tax hike as the economy is still recovering, along with a split Congress. Increased fiscal spending could also support a shift toward cyclical companies, which are more tied to the broader economic recovery. These smaller companies, banks, manufacturers, and commodity producers typically do better as the economy exits a recession.

Small-cap companies typically show an advantage over large- and mid-cap stocks during the initial stages of an economic expansion phase. Small-cap stock performances are more correlated with U.S. GDP, so small-caps’ financial performance may be more aligned with the initial U.S. economic expansion period than large-caps.

The economy doesn’t have to recover instantly. We just have to have confidence that it’s coming.

Listen to the full podcast episode on the IWM ETF:

For more podcast episodes featuring Tom Lydon, visit our podcasts category.

ACVF – Ridgeline Research Launches Conservative Values ETF, ‘ACVF'

While attempting to capitalize in the most beneficial ways, there are ideals some companies would prefer to hold onto. On Thursday, Ridgeline Research announced the launch of the American Conservative Values ETF (NYSE: ACVF). The fund will focus on large capitalization of U.S. equities.

ACVF is the first-ever ETF that will attempt to align investments with politically conservative investors’ beliefs and values. We “Boycott” companies that do not align with conservative values, bringing together a community of conservative investors.

Regarding conservative values, the importance lies in political and social philosophy characterized by individual liberty, limiting the size of government, free enterprise, and belief in “American Exceptionalism.” Fiscal conservatives favor small government, laissez-faire economy, low income and corporate taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise. Social conservatives tend to strongly identify with American exceptionalism, patriotism, and the defense of traditional social norms.

“As a long-time passionate conservative and professional investor, I have often been frustrated watching major corporations support causes that are antithetical to my conservative ideals, beliefs, and values. I’m tired of investing in these companies! In response, I created an ETF company to service fellow conservative investors, Ridgeline Research. Our first ETF is a large cap fund that will “Boycott” companies that do not align with conservative values.” Said William “Bill” Flaig, Founder and CEO of Ridgeline Research

With ACVF, from Ridgeline’s point of view, investors can stand alongside their conservative friends and family. They can invest in change.

For additional information on the American Conservative Values ETF, please visit

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INDF – NextFins Launches Nifty India Financials ETF, ‘INDF'

On Wednesday, NextFins announced the launch of the Nifty India Financials ETF (INDF), which is now available for trading. INDF will trade in US Dollars during US market hours.

The Nifty India Financials ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Nifty Financial Services 25/50 Index.

This index comprises Indian banks, financial institutions, housing finance companies, insurance companies, and other financial services companies in India.

“INDF allows investors to access the financial companies that directly participate in the megatrends driving Indian economic growth: a young population, a growing workforce, urbanization, increasing access to the digital economy through smartphones, and rising personal credit penetration,” NextFins said in a statement issued earlier on Wednesday.

Accepting The Challenge

As stated by Amit Anand, co-founder of Adi Capital Management and Managing Member of the INDF team, “This fund is the first and only fund that provides ETF investors direct access to India’s financial companies. Indian financials benefit from the megatrends driving India’s growth, but US investors had no way of accessing those companies through an ETF before INDF.”

When considering challenges, Anand continues, “The main challenge related to the launch was identifying an index that meets RIC diversification rules. To that end, we worked closely with Nifty, the Index provider to INDF, in coming up with a variant to their Nifty Financial Services Index that satisfies the necessary rules.”

About the Nifty Financial Services 25/50 Index: The Nifty Financial Services 25/50 Index is managed by NSE Indices Limited and tracks a well-distributed portfolio of top 20 stocks within the Financial Services sector in India.

About NextFins: NextFins was founded in 2020 with the goal of democratizing access to smart investment ideas. INDF is the first ETF in NextFins’ roadmap.

Investors may purchase shares of INDF through their financial advisors or online brokers. More
information about INDF can be found at

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