ETF bigwigs gather as assets explode and a bitcoin fund remains a no-go

The US-listed ETF universe is now $7B+ up from less than $5B in 2020

As some of the world’s biggest players in the world of exchange traded funds hob-knob in Miami for one of the biggest annual gatherings, ETF Exchange, the industry is at a critical crossroads as inflation rages fueling market volatility and putting the Federal Reserve between a rock and a hard place. 

Nonetheless, money is flowing into ETF funds as investors seek attractive and economical strategies to capture trends such as rising inflation, volatility and even Russia’s turmoil. Inflows topped $900 billion of new assets in 2021 with another $205 billion via the first quarter of 2022. The entire US-listed ETF universe is now over $7 billion, up from less than $5 billion in 2020, according to industry data. 

MORGAN STANLEY TO ENTER THE ETF WORLD

ETF Trends

ETF Exchange Miami 2022  (ETF Trends )

"With over 2,000 attendees covering each area of the ETF ecosystem, we’ve been able to provide the advisor community with an opportunity to connect, learn and have a little fun" Tom Lydon, CEO of ETF Trends and sponsor of the conference, told FOX Business. 

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Tuesday, billionaire hedge fund manager Jeff Gundlach, of DoubleLine Capital, delivered his view on the economy predicting inflation has peaked but will remain elevated. This after the consumer price index surged 8.5% in March, the highest since 1981, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He also suggested the Federal Reserve may be off the mark in its inflation outlook. 

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of Doubleline Capital LP, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive off

Cathie Wood, ARK’s high-profile investment guru doubling down on innovation, is also in attendance, as well as Bitcoin pioneer and investor Michael Saylor, Chairman and CEO of MicroStrategy. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSTR MICROSTRATEGY INC. 164.30 -15.39 -8.56%
ARKK ARK ETF TR INNOVATION ETF 40.01 -1.51 -3.64%

Cathie Wood, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of ARK Investment Management LLC (Alex Flynn/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

As of April 4, 2022 the business intelligence company via its MacroStrategy arm held "129,218 bitcoins, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $3.97 billion and an average purchase price of approximately $30,700 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses, with MacroStrategy holding approximately 115,110 of these bitcoins" as detailed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager also participated. The firm recently appealed to the public to lobby the SEC to approve converting its Bitcoin Trust to an ETF, which would make it the first pure Bitcoin ETF to win approval if cleared. 

This year, Bitcoin has dropped about 15% now trading around the $40,000 level as of Tuesday. It’s all-time high hit in 2021 was $68,990.90. 

Despite the volatility, the industry and retail investors continue to clamor for a pure Bitcoin ETF. Yet, the SEC has nixed applications from Van Eck and Fidelity citing manipulation and fraud prevention concerns. An application from Bitwise remains in the queue with the SEC asking for more information on the product. 

BITWISE BITCOIN ETF NOT DEAD YET

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BITO PROSHARES TRUST BITCOIN STRATEGY ETF 11.61 -0.87 -6.97%
GCC WISDOMTREE TRUST ENHANCED COMMODITY STRATEGY 23.47 -0.65 -2.69%
BITQ EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS TRUST BITWISE CRYPTO INNOVATORS E 5.55 -0.30 -5.13%

SEC RULES ON FIDELITY'S BITCOIN ETF

Other ETFs that offer exposure to Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies include  ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, WisdomTree’s Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund and the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF.