1) Rex Shares, VanEck File for Bitcoin ETFs Financial Advisor | 12/11/2017
Because… With Bitcoin’s price on a tear and CBOE’s listing of futures contracts, it is not surprising that some firms would want to capitalize on the Bitcoin boom, despite warnings from regulators, economists, and Wall Street honchos. In addition to Rex Shares and VanEck, First Trust filed for four Bitcoin ETFs on Monday. Like REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF and REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF, First Trust is placing bets on both directions with Bitcoin Strategy ETF, Inverse Bitcoin Strategy ETF, Bitcoin Plus Strategy ETF, and Inverse Bitcoin Plus Strategy ETF. This approach may be opportunistic, but it provides a cushion against a price plunge.
2) Vanguard Using Blockchain Technology to Improve Index Data Distribution Vanguard | 12/12/2017
Because… Technology investment has been pushed to the forefront since firms will fall behind if they do not allocate more resources to technology enhancements. Competition in the industry has, to a large extent, come down to a firm’s willingness and capability to increase tech spending. The assets Vanguard has gathered have allowed the firm to equip itself with the latest technology. While it will strengthen Vanguard’s position as an industry leader, it can pose a formidable threat to firms that cannot fund technology initiatives because Vanguard’s use of blockchain will result in “better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings,” according to the news release.
3) ETFs Shattered Their Growth Records in 2017 MarketWatch | 12/12/2017
Because… The ETF industry has been enjoying a record-breaking year. According to Morningstar data, every broad asset class, except for Taxable Bond and Municipal Bond, attracted more flows than their mutual fund counterparts. Within the ETF space, International Equity is the best-selling asset class. It also witnessed the most dramatic improvement from a year ago. International Equity ETFs raked in $135.9 billion this year through November, compared with $3.9 billion of net inflows in the first 11 months of 2016. Should December be a strong month for market performance, which historically has been the case, sales of U.S.-based ETFs could surpass $450 billion.