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ETFMG offers commission-free access to key thematic ETFs through E*TRADE


ETF Managers Group, providers of pure thematic ETFs, has put four of its ETFs onto the E*TRADE Commission-Free ETF Program.

Robert Saffer, Global Head of ETF Sales at ETFMG, explains that the aim was to bring the four ETFs: cyber security-based HACK, video game technology ETF GAMR, the ETFMG Drone Economy Strategy ETF IFLY, and the BlueStar Israel Technology ETF ITEQ, to a larger group of people.

Saffer says: “Our goal is to democratise investing, giving individuals exposure to all sorts of sectors, segments and themes that they might not have been able to get exposure to in the past unless they were an institutional investor.”

ETFMG has USD3.8 billion in assets across 11 ETFs, with HACK dominating the pool at USD1.5 billion. The next largest is MJ, the global first and biggest of the cannabis ETFs with USD1 billion in assets.

“We are in the thematic space, in high growth areas that are not defined by capitalisation or GICs, but a theme such as cyber security,” Saffer says.

Ideas come from a combination of partnerships that the firm forms, ideas that people bring to them, ideas generated in house and, Saffer says, most importantly investor demand. “We speak to advisers about what they want and need and don’t see available in the marketplace.”

E*TRADE offers 200 commission free ETFs, while the ETF provider continues to receive the usual management and other fees.

“E*TRADE is a great partner with a great user base that enables us to get to their clients and gain exposure. We are looking for the DIY clients, not investors who are already using a wealth manager or adviser. We wanted to help the smaller asset base clients get exposure in a commission free way,” Saffer says.

The relationship between ETFMG and E*TRADE is set to continue. Saffer says: “We are certainly looking to put more of our funds on the E*TRADE platform over time as well as explore other commission free platforms. The important thing is that it doesn’t change the fee to the user in any way except reducing it by buying the product on the exchange like any other but in a commission free manner. It gives them access at lower costs.”

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