Bloomberg News

Money goes where it's treated best. That simple truth is a big reason why more and more money—trillions, in fact—flows into a powerful, low-cost tool that's quietly transformed investing in recent years. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, let you invest in everything from the stock market to gold like never before. This biweekly podcast will demystify them—and delight you in the process.


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Money goes where it's treated best. That simple truth is a big reason why more and more money—trillions, in fact—flows into a powerful, low-cost tool that's quietly transformed investing in recent years. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, let you invest in everything from the stock market to gold like never before. This biweekly podcast will demystify them—and delight you in the process.




The FOMO Drought

The S&P 500 Index is up 9%, the Nasdaq 100 has jumped 25% and Bitcoin-mining stocks are up more than 100%—and yet no one seems to care. At least that’s the case among exchange-traded fund investors who have put virtually no money into US equities. It’s what we’re calling the FOMO drought. What’s behind this odd phenomenon, and what can end it? Joel and Eric sit down with Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Athanasios Psarofagis to discuss several spots in the flows, such as international, thematic, leveraged ETFs and money market funds, that can help offer some clues as to why we are seeing such a flow-less rally in US stocks. See for privacy information.


The $30 Trillion ETF Market Is Coming

Exchange-traded funds could go from $9 trillion in global assets today to $30 trillion in the next decade as investors far and wide continue to migrate from mutual funds. This is the prediction that Brown Brothers Harriman reached in their 10th Annual ETF Survey last month. On this episode, Joel and Eric speak with Shawn McNinch, Global ETF Head at BBH, to pore over the survey, including questions on how ETFs are selected, what areas investors want to see more products covering and the differences between the US and other regions. See for privacy information.


The Hottest New Trade Is the Most Boring

The hottest new trade is the most boring asset class: money market mutual funds. Once regarded as a no-yield option investors would only use to park cash in a crisis, they now yield more than 4.5%. In the first quarter alone, investors flocked to them to the tune of half a trillion dollars. But how do they work? What do they invest in? And why do investors use them instead of similar-yielding, cheaper Treasury exchange-traded funds? We answer all these questions and more on the latest episode of Trillions, which features Nafis Smith, principal and head of Vanguard’s taxable money markets, as well as Bloomberg Senior Editor Mike Regan and reporter Katie Greifeld. See for privacy information.


The Lowdown on Increasing Your ‘ETF IQ’

The first exchange-traded fund television show ever created, Bloomberg’s ETF IQ, just finished its first year on the air. On this episode, we talk to its anchors, Matt Miller and Katie Greifeld, about what goes into making the program, some of its highlights and recurring themes. These include the resurgence of active management, ESG’s struggles, investing amid rising interest rates and the wild world of indie issuers. See for privacy information.


The Aftermath of Another Banking Mess, This Time in Europe

UBS recently acquired its troubled neighbor, Credit Suisse, creating a Swiss megabank. How it all went down led to an avalanche of headlines, with a few interesting angles for investors in things such as exchange-traded notes and CoCo bonds. On this episode of Trillions, Eric Balchunas and Joel Weber discuss some of the takeaways with Alison Williams, a senior analyst who covers investment banks and the asset management industry for Bloomberg Intelligence, as well as ETF analyst Athanasios Psarofagis. See for privacy information.


The Situation With Midsize Banks

In barely a week, three banks a lot of people had never heard of—Silvergate, Silicon Valley and Signature—suddenly became toast. The US government found itself playing backstop to prevent an escalation as whipsawed investors hoped the worst was over. But is it? And in what kind of funds can these banks stocks be found? How will they affect performance? Hint: It would have been a good week to short some of Jim Cramer’s top picks. On this episode, Eric and Joel speak with reporter Katie Greifeld and Athanasios Psarofagis and James Seyffart of Bloomberg Intelligence. They discuss which exchange-traded funds saw the most action and why, the impact on returns and volume, and some of the less obvious ripple effects. See for privacy information.


This ETF Is Betting Against Jim Cramer’s Picks

Jim Cramer—the host of Mad Money on CNBC—makes a lot of investing calls. It’s part of his shtick. And as you can easily divine from social media, not all of them pan out. The new Inverse Cramer Tracker ETF (SJIM), which might be one of the most entertaining exchange-traded funds ever imagined, is aiming to turn Cramer’s “Midas touch” into big returns by shorting stocks he’s bullish on. It also goes long on Cramer’s bearish bets. For good measure, there’s also a Long Cramer Tracker ETF (LJIM). On this episode of Trillions, Eric, Joel and reporter Katie Greifeld speak with the man behind the ETF, Matt Tuttle of Tuttle Capital Management. We learn how the products work, what’s in the portfolios how much cable television Tuttle has to watch. See for privacy information.


Exchanging Exchanges at Exchange

The Exchange ETF Conference was recently held in Miami Beach with more than 1,000 people in attendance. While the gathering was as popular as ever and networking in full bloom, the vibe was a little more subdued—likely a reflection the recent bear market. On this episode of Trillions, we run through snippets of several interviews with attendees, covering topics including how the conference has evolved, international investing, the rise of active, industry growth projections, crypto, gold—and even advice on how to break a full-court press from a legendary NCAA basketball coach. See for privacy information.


Are ETFs Killing Future Stock Market Returns?

The rise of index funds, exchange-traded funds and passive investing in recent years has been nothing short of momentous, as investors across the US and around the world learn to rely on slow-and-steady returns. But there’s been rising concern over the potential side effects of this sea change in the way stocks are bought and sold. The new worry is that, because index funds (and ETFs) are so cheap and easy to access, more people will use them—and this will push down future expected returns for everyone. On this week’s episode of Trillions, we talk to Martin Schmalz, professor of finance and economics at the University of Oxford, about his latest paper on the topic, “Index Funds, Asset Prices, and the Welfare of Investors.” We discuss and debate his paper as well as some other concerns, such as common ownership, and whether any public policy is needed. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 6: The Revolution

SPY wasn’t just a hit product, it was an inspiration for an entire industry to take off. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took about 10 years for the ETF structure to be utilized for other asset classes and strategies, which today seem normal but at the time were revolutionary. On this installment we look at many of the game changing products that followed, including the first bond ETF, the first gold ETF, Vanguard’s entry and the rise of smart-beta, which was active management’s way to get into the action. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 5: The Sleeper

SPDR S&P 500, or SPY, is the world’s largest ETF today with about $240 billion in assets, but it wasn’t much to look at when it debuted in 1993. Some days it was on “volume life support,” trading as little as 18,000 shares; there was even talk of pulling the plug. Yet true believers, guerrilla marketing, and a booming 1990s stock market helped the product gain favor. And once SPY took off, the markets were forever changed. This episode also explores how SPY soon inspired a host of other ETFs, from international and sectors to fixed income and gold. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 4: The Competition

Just as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak weren’t the only two geeks in a garage working on a computer in the 1970s, the AMEX wasn’t the only exchange looking to get a market basket instrument listed. The late 1980s saw multiple attempts to create something like an ETF, including SuperShares, Equity Index Participation Shares, Cash Index Participation Shares and the Toronto 35 Index Participation Units. Ultimately, SPY gets – and deserves – the lion’s share of the credit as the first ETF. But by no means was AMEX alone in the race; they were just the winners. This episode looks at the race, the players involved and why their products became historical footnotes. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 3: The Approval

When the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) was submitted to the SEC in 1988, George Michael’s "Faith" was the No. 1 song and Magic Johnson led the Lakers to another NBA Championship. By the time SPY finally launched in 1993, Nirvana had ushered in the grunge era and Michael Jordan had taken over the NBA. While the SEC wrestled with this unique product -- which was almost like a foreign object that had landed on their desks -- the whole culture had changed. In those four long years, there was much back and forth between the SEC and the SPY teams over logistics, structure, and the creation-redemption process, which was inspired by commodities warehouses. The patience and labor paid off for the ETF's creators, who figured out how to keep fees low and also earn some unintended windfalls, such as the products’ tax efficiency. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 2: The Report

Government reports are known more for curing insomnia than providing inspiration for revolutionary products. The October 1987 Market Break Report might be an exception. A paragraph deep in the SEC's 800-page white paper happened to outline a “product” for trading baskets of stocks. On this episode of “The ETF Story,” you'll learn how those words gave Nate Most and Steve Bloom the idea for what would become the exchange-traded fund. You'll also hear from Vanguard founder John Bogle, who passed on Most's pitch -- and who may have shaped the ETF in the process. See for privacy information.


The ETF Story 1: The Crash

Thirty years ago today, the very first exchange-traded fund started trading on the American Stock Exchange. At the time, Bill Clinton had just moved into the White House and America was trying on a new role as the world's lone superpower. On Wall Street, an entire industry soon realized that the ETF was a revolution all its own. Today, there are more than 3,000 ETFs listed in the US, plus another 6,000 international ones, and together they hold $6.8 trillion in assets. In “The ETF Story,” a special six-episode series originally published five years ago, Eric and Joel explore the origins of the first ETF and how it’s come to dominate investing. Among those interviewed are Jack Bogle, Kathleen Moriarty, Bob Toll, Howard Kramer, Rob Arnott, Dave Ritter, Reggie Browne, Dave Nadig, John O’Brien, Bruce Bond and more. Here's episode 1. On Monday Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market fell 23 percent, the worst day ever for stocks two times over. It was in the aftermath of that crash that the idea for exchange-traded funds was born. And it came from a very unlikely place: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. See for privacy information.


Meet One of ETF’s Founding Fathers

This month marks the 30th birthday of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), the granddaddy ETF that started it all and is still the largest and most-traded ETF in the world. But getting this ETF launched was no small task; neither was getting assets into it. Though once people saw its value-add, the financial world changed forever. This week, we speak with Jay Baker, who — as vice president of options marketing at the American Stock Exchange — worked with Nate Most and Steve Bloom to drum up interest for SPY in the early ‘90s. We discuss where the idea for SPY came from, who the early investors were and what caused the tipping point, as well as the unique dynamic between Most and Bloom. We also look at whether SPY can hold onto its biggest-in-world status for much longer. See for privacy information.


23 ETFs for 2023

From inflation and the Federal Reserve, China and Russia, fundamentals and Bitcoin, there’s no shortage of themes for investors to think about in 2023. And while we can’t give you investing advice, we can give you a few tickers to watch. On this episode, Eric and Joel take a tour of Bloomberg Intelligence’s listicle of ETFs for the year ahead. They’re joined by James Seyffart and Athanasios Psarofagis of Bloomberg Intelligence as well as Scarlet Fu of Bloomberg News. Among the ETFs discussed are $UTEN, $COWZ, $AVUV, $DHUP, $RSX, $KCE, $VXU,S $TSLQ, $VTV, $GBTC, $MCH, $TGN, $XCCC, $STRV, $UDVD, $INFL, $RMAU and $JREU See for privacy information.


Introducing: Crash Course

Hosted by Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor Tim O'Brien, Crash Course will bring listeners directly into the arenas where epic business and social upheavals occur. Every week, Crash Course will explore the lessons to be learned when creativity and ambition collide with competition and power -- on Wall Street and Main Street, and in Hollywood and Washington. See for privacy information.


Now There Are One-Stop Shops to Launch Your ETF

Got an idea for an exchange-traded fund but don’t want to deal with the logistics? A group of “white label” ETF issuers are in the business of helping people launch their own fund—and business is booming. These issuers have minted more than 100 ETFs this way—for both big asset managers and entrepreneurial individuals simply passionate about an idea. On this week’s episode of Trillions, we speak to the “big three” of ETF white labels: Garrett Stevens, chief executive of Exchange Traded Concepts, Mike Venuto, chief information officer and co-founder of Tidal, and Wes Gray, president of Alpha Architect. Topics include how they got started, how they vet new ideas, the launch of which they’re most proud and what next year holds. The last includes Goldman Sachs Group’s entry into the business and a potential wave of mutual fund to ETF conversions. See for privacy information.


The ETF Era Is Going to Be Here for a While

The future is very bright for ETFs, which in 2022 saw record volume and the second most flows and new launches—all astounding numbers considering the stock and bond markets were in the gutter return-wise. So what can we expect next year? What areas should people be watching? On this episode of Trillions, Bloomberg Intelligence’s exchange-traded fund team go over their just-published 2023 Outlook which covers topics such as active, alternatives, crypto, China and thematic investing—and just how big ETFs could get. Our analysts include Athanasios Psarofagis, Rebecca Sin, Henry Jim and James Seyffart. See for privacy information.