ETF Update: John Hancock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan And More Launched Funds This Week

Welcome back to the SA ETF Update. My goal is to keep Seeking Alpha readers up to date on the ETF universe and to gain some visibility, both for the ETF community, and for me as its editor (so users know who to approach with issues, article ideas, to become a contributor, etc.) Every weekend, or every other weekend (depending on the reader response and submission volumes), we will highlight fund launches and closures for the week, as well as any news items that could impact ETF investors. Last week we saw the first Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) ETF enter the arena, the ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (NYSEARCA: GSLC ). While there was a followup launch from GS this week, John Hancock made the biggest splash with its first 6 ETF offerings. The newcomer has a strong history in mutual funds and I am excited to see how these new ETFs perform in the coming months. Fund launches for the week of September 28, 2015 Another Goldman ETF opens for business (9/29): One week after the launch of GSLC, Goldman Sachs rolls out one for emerging markets , the Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEARCA: GEM ). John Hancock adds 6 new funds (9/29): As stated by Andrew G. Arnott, president and CEO of John Hancock Investments, “it was important to us to develop an ETF product that seeks to address investor needs for performance potential, backed by an investment approach rooted in decades of academic research.” They are the John Hancock Multifactor Mid Cap ETF (NYSEARCA: JHMM ), the John Hancock Multifactor Large Cap ETF (NYSEARCA: JHML ), the John Hancock Multifactor Technology ETF (NYSEARCA: JHMT ), the John Hancock Multifactor Healthcare ETF (NYSEARCA: JHMH ) and John Hancock Multifactor Financials ETF (NYSEARCA: JHMF ). John Hancock doesn’t seem to have pages for the 6 funds yet, but the SEC filing linked above should be a good starting point for interested investors. JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) launches a new U.S. Equity ETF (9/30): The JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Equity ETF (NYSEARCA: JPUS ) tracks the Russell 1000 Diversified Factor Index , which “seeks to provide U.S. exposure with the potential for better risk-adjusted returns.” Credit Suisse rolls out an income ETF (9/30): The Credit Suisse X-Links Multi-Asset High Income ETN (NYSEARCA: MLTI ) tracks an index “comprised of a broad, diversified basket of up to 120 publicly-traded securities that historically have paid high dividends or distributions.” IndexIQ launches a new fund-of-funds ETF (9/30): The IQ Leaders GTAA Tracker ETF (NYSEARCA: QGTA ) follows the IQ Leaders GTAA Index, which “seeks to track the performance and risk characteristics of the 10 leading global allocation mutual funds. Identifying 10 leading mutual funds is based on fund performance and asset size and is reconstituted annually.” iShares launches a hedged alternative to Japanese equities (10/1): The iShares Currency Hedged JPX-Nikkei 400 ETF (NYSEMKT: HJPX ) “seeks to track the investment results of a broad-based benchmark composed of Japanese equities.” It is a hedged alternative for the iShares JPX-Nikkei 400 ETF (JPXN). There were no fund closures for the week of September 28, 2015 One of the first comments on my article last week raised an important question : The ETF world is ever changing. Smart beta was a new thing recently. Similarly I saw few articles that talked about ETMF (Exchange Traded Mutual Funds) being the next big thing. Would love to see some research on it.. Our own Jonathon Liss came up with an answer that I feel many readers will find incredibly helpful as ETMFs start to gain traction in the market: ETMFs are not really ETFs. In fact, I think the term is intentionally confusing in an attempt to ride the popularity of ETFs. In most key ways, these products are no different than mutual funds. The fact they are ‘exchange-listed’ is meaningless for all intents and purposes. They only price once a day and are non-transparent meaning they only have to list their holdings once per quarter akin to MFs – and on a 1-2 month delay at that as is standard with 13F filings. Additionally, they have a strange auction bidding system required to buy them. They do likely share some of the theoretical tax advantages of ETFs but that’s about it. Thus, I think they should essentially be lumped with mutual funds and not ETFs. If I’m missing key details I’d be happy for others to fill me in but this is what I’ve been able to gather from the literature I’ve seen. Have any other questions on ETFs or ETNs? Please comment below and I will try to clear things up. As an author and editor I have found that constructive feedback is the best way to grow. What you would like to see discussed in the future? How can I improve this series to meet reader needs? Please share your thoughts on this first edition of the ETF Update series in the comments section below. Have a view on something that’s coming up or a new fund? Submit an article. Share this article with a colleague