The Past, Present & Future of ETFs with Eric Balchunas  – [Invest Like the Best, EP.93]

My guest this week is Eric Balchunas, the senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg and the author of the Institutional ETF toolbox. This episode is intended for those in the asset or wealth management industry who have considered using ETFs in their portfolios, or for the individual investor who likes to stay up to date on trends in the market for asset management products. We cover all aspects of ETFs in some detail, and luckily in ways that have little overlap with a few other recent ETF-centric episodes on two of my favorite podcasts: the Meb Faber Show and Capital Allocators with Ted Seides with Matt Hougan and Tom Lydon respectively.

We open with Eric’s favorite ETF tickers, discuss the pros and cons of ETFs versus other investment vehicles, and explore the largest areas of opportunities for new ETFs coming to market in the years to come. ETFs have become the vehicle of choice for many investors, so it was about time we covered them in depth in this forum. As you’ll hear, Eric is the right person to teach the world about ETFs, thanks to deep domain knowledge and unflagging enthusiasm. Please enjoy my conversation with Eric Balchunas on the past, present, and future of ETFs.

 

Books Referenced

Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner’s Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System

 

Links Referenced

Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks

 

Show Notes

2:32 – (First Question) – Eric’s favorite ETF tickers

4:07 – How Eric got started into his career and how it led him into the ETF world

8:04 – An overview of the ETF landscape

10:10 – Active managed ETFs

12:17 – Chart – There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks

13:32 – Key variables he thinks about when assessing a new ETF

15:18 – Evaluating shiny object ETFs

17:30 – The appeal of ETFs

20:18 – Future regulatory concern of the tax treatments of ETFs

22:10 – The liquidity advantage of ETFs and why that can actually be bad for investors

24:19 – What would Eric do to build the perfect ETF

26:03 – What are the future trends for new ETF’s launched

29:40 – Categories that work well in the ALT world of ETFs

31:32 – Most effective marketing strategy for ETFs

35:50 – Quantitative Momentum: A Practitioner’s Guide to Building a Momentum-Based Stock Selection System

36:28 – How will the winning asset managers have done differently in this space

41:56 – How the next downturn could impact ETFs

46:17 – Do ETF’s create pricing distortions

50:33 – What trend is Eric most interested in right now

53:21 – Alpha through Beta

55:51 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Eric