ETFs: Business Could Not Be Better

At the InsideETFs conference in Hollywood, FL, author Michael Lewis outdrew the many luminaries on hand offering investment advice. From Liar’s Poker to The Fifth Risk, Lewis has honed his ability to identify a story and recount it engagingly. Interviewer Barry Ritholtz provided thoughtful questions that allowed his guest to enlighten and entertain.

Michael Lewis at ETF Conference

The book you write isn’t what people read. Liar’s Poker was intended to turn young graduates away from Wall Street. After all, Lewis abandoned a sharply rising $250K annual income for a $40K book contract, only to receive over 100 letters seeking career advice in banking.

Two of Lewis’s books have been made into movies. Tom Wolfe offered memorable advice — when Hollywood, CA offers a movie deal, drive fast to LA; hurl the script over the wall; grab the cash they toss back, and drive very fast east. Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe’s novel which caught the 1980s Wall Street zeitgeist only preceded Lewis by a few years. It might be the worst movie ever made, deeply disappointing to Wolfe’s readers and no doubt the author himself. Lewis invests his personal assets in index ETFs which drew a hearty round of applause.

On the more prosaic topic of ETFs, business continues to grow strongly. NYSE executive Doug Yones reported that ETFs have reached 40% of exchange volume. Christmas Eve, normally one of the quietest days, was a record as stocks plunged before January’s rebound. Yones is relieved that this happened without NYSE making headlines. Many have predicted volatility would expose flaws in the structure of ETFs. Criticism is diminishing, as the market keeps working. Pressing the advantage of momentum, Yones expects ETF volumes to double.

Fixed income is a big source of growth. The yield curve offers around 2.5% at every maturity. One dimensional but finally a return of sorts, there are many opportunities to restructure indices that afford quite precise portfolio construction.

ETFs are now offered that mimic structured notes, with capped upside and limited downside. Doug Yones expects actively managed ETFs that don’t provide daily position transparency to be available soon, bringing in some new proprietary strategies.

Bitcoin, last year’s fad, has been replaced by marijuana ETFs. No matter that farming relies on extensive government support, weed believers note huge paper profits for early investors. No more articulate response is required.

As in the past, we derived most value from scheduled and impromptu meetings. S&P is our partner for our ETF,  so Michael Mell kindly endured a photo with your investment management team.

SL Advisors with S&P at ETF Conference

The ETF business has never looked so strong.

SL Advisors is the sub-advisor to the Catalyst MLP & Infrastructure Fund.  To learn more about the Fund,  please click here.

SL Advisors is also the advisor to an ETF (

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Important Disclosures

The information provided is for informational purposes only and investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service, security or product is suitable for their investment needs. The information contained herein is not complete, may not be current, is subject to change, and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the more complete disclosures, risk factors and other terms that are contained in the disclosure, prospectus, and offering. Certain information herein has been obtained from third party sources and, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. No representation is made with respect to the accuracy,  completeness or timeliness of this information. Nothing provided on this site constitutes tax advice. Individuals should seek the advice of their own tax advisor for specific information regarding tax consequences of investments.  Investments in securities entail risk and are not suitable for all investors. This site is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell (or solicitation of an offer to buy) securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.

References to indexes and benchmarks are hypothetical illustrations of aggregate returns and do not reflect the performance of any actual investment. Investors cannot invest in an index and do not reflect the deduction of the advisor’s fees or other trading expenses. There can be no assurance that current investments will be profitable. Actual realized returns will depend on, among other factors, the value of assets and market conditions at the time of disposition, any related transaction costs, and the timing of the purchase. Indexes and benchmarks may not directly correlate or only partially relate to portfolios managed by SL Advisors as they have different underlying investments and may use different strategies or have different objectives than portfolios managed by SL Advisors (e.g. The Alerian index is a group MLP securities in the oil and gas industries. Portfolios may not include the same investments that are included in the Alerian Index. The S & P Index does not directly relate to investment strategies managed by SL Advisers.)

This site may contain forward-looking statements relating to the objectives, opportunities, and the future performance of the U.S. market generally. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of such words as; “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” “potential” and other similar terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, estimates with respect to financial condition, results of operations, and success or lack of success of any particular investment strategy. All are subject to various factors, including, but not limited to general and local economic conditions, changing levels of competition within certain industries and markets, changes in interest rates, changes in legislation or regulation, and other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting a portfolio’s operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Such statements are forward-looking in nature and involves a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or examples. None of SL Advisors LLC or any of its affiliates or principals nor any other individual or entity assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, subsequent events or any other circumstances. All statements made herein speak only as of the date that they were made. r

Certain hyperlinks or referenced websites on the Site, if any, are for your convenience and forward you to third parties’ websites, which generally are recognized by their top level domain name. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with SL Advisors LLC with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by SL Advisors LLC. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by SL Advisors LLC and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom SL Advisors LLC exercise no control. SL Advisors LLC expressly disclaim any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites.

All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be suitable or profitable for a client’s investment portfolio.

Past performance of the American Energy Independence Index is not indicative of future returns.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.