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Earlier this month, Director of Exchange Traded Funds Dave Nadig outlined three themes hitting the ETF market. In our most recent webcast, Dave expanded on these themes and whether they are actually good for investors. 

The first and most widely known trend is smart beta, but there are concerns about smart beta in the ETF industry. What does “smart beta” mean? Perhaps, Dave says, the better question is, “Is anything not ‘smart’?” And why do investors tend to put money into these funds at precisely the wrong time?

The second trend, currency hedging, is sometimes considered the smartest of the smart. As with all smart beta strategies, currency hedging has resulted in occasional strong performance, but the alpha isn’t always positive. Where does it go wrong?

Finally, bespoke ETFs have exploded in the last year, with billions of dollars flowing into new products. But odd trading patterns make bespoke products risky. After an initial high volume period, trades drop off and stagnate, raising liquidity concerns.

To investigate these themes and more, FactSet clients can now access a variety of ETF data in flexible feed format. Since acquiring the data and analytics business from in April, FactSet now offers:

  • FactSet U.S. ETF reference data, with more than 150 data points on 1700 ETFs
  • FactSet European reference data, with coverage of all European listed ETFs
  • FactSet ETF profile reports, a comprehensive three-tiered system for rating ETFs

Watch the full ETF webcast here and register for our July 14 webcast, Active is as Active Does: Active Share vs Tracking Error, at

ETFs in 2015: Three Themes Changing the Market from FactSet on Vimeo.


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Director of Exchange Traded Funds
Dave left FactSet in 2016. He previously spearheaded the creation of in-depth ETF content for Insight. Dave has been involved in researching, reporting and analyzing the investment management industry for more than 15 years. As managing director at Barclays Global Investors, Dave helped design and market some of the first exchange-traded funds. With partner Don Luskin, he went on to found, a revolutionary transparent mutual fund company that pushed fund disclosure to the top of the SEC agenda. As co-founder at Cerulli Associates in the early '90s, he conducted some of the earliest research on fee-only financial advisers and the rise of indexing.

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