Remember the “Inspire Global Hope ETF” (ticker: BLES)?
That would be the vehicle we profiled in “Long Jesus: For Only 6 Times The Cost, You Can Be A ‘Biblically Responsible’ Investor.”
Here’s what “BLES” does (from the official website):
We believe good returns and good values are not mutually exclusive. Inspire Global Hope ETF is designed to create meaningful impact by investing in some of the most inspiring companies from around the globe, while also seeking to provide investors with a low cost, high impact investment that meets the stringent demands of modern investors. All Inspire ETF’s meet biblically responsible investing (BRI) standards, which measure a portfolio’s alignment with biblical values.
Yes, “all Inspire ETF’s meet biblically responsible investing (BRI) standards,” standards which evidently do not include: avoiding charging people too much. Because the expense ratio is 0.61%.
But “BLES” doesn’t just represent a hypocritical investment vehicle with an absurd (and controversial) mission statement, it also proxies for the sheer ridiculousness that now characterizes the ETF industry.
There used to be “an app for that” – now, “there’s an ETF for that.”
As Bloomberg’s Dani Burger notes in a hilarious piece out Tuesday, ETF providers have become so desperate to separate themselves from the crowd, they’re now licensing the names of celebrities. Here’s Burger:
Quincy Jones is now at the helm of the ETF spaghetti cannon.
In a new, potentially quixotic, attempt to stay relevant, distributors of exchange-traded funds are no longer content with branding their products with star investors like State Street Corp. did with DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach. Instead, they’re turning to actual celebrities.
Exchange Traded Concepts LLC in conjunction with Vident Investment Advisory, is the first to try this, licensing the name of Quincy Jones — the 84-year-old music legend who produced everyone from Ray Charles to Michael Jackson — to draw attention to its new fund. The Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment ETF filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 22.
And here’s what The Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment ETF does, according to its SEC filing:
The Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, track the performance of the Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment Index (the “Index”).
In order to provide such exposure, the universe of Index constituents consists of companies engaged in a range of business activities relating to streaming music, media, and entertainment and select supporting sectors, including media and entertainment companies, telecommunications companies, wireless communication service providers, amusement and recreation companies, technology manufacturers, and internet-based companies, among others. To be eligible for inclusion in the Index, a company’s common stock (or American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) on the company’s common stock) must trade on a U.S. exchange, and the company must have a market capitalization of at least $1.5 billion and a six month average daily trading value (“ADTV”) of at least $5 million. Of these eligible companies, the 100 securities with the highest market capitalization are included in the Index. If fewer than 100, but at least 20, securities satisfy the criteria, then all such securities are included in the Index. If a company issues multiple classes of shares that are eligible for inclusion in the Index, only the most liquid share class, based on the six month ADTV, will be included. Index constituents are reviewed semi-annually on the last business day in January and July and rebalanced five business days later. Index constituents are equally-weighted when they are added to the Index and when the Index is rebalanced.
There you go – basically it will be a tech fund.
But just in case you’re tempted to invest in this based not on your outlook for the streaming industry, but rather based on your confidence in Quincy’s Midas touch, do note the following disclaimer from the above-linked filing:
Disclaimers by Quincy Jones. The Index was developed in conjunction with the Index Calculation Agent and is owned by the Index Provider. Quincy Jones and Quincy Jones Productions, Inc. (together with their affiliates, “Quincy Jones”) licenses to the Index Provider certain trademarks for use in connection with the Index, which, in turn are sublicensed to the Adviser for use by the Fund. Quincy Jones did not and does not participate in developing, composing, calculating, or making any other determination with regard to the Index; makes no representation or warranty as to the suitability of the Index for use by the Fund or any other person for any purpose; and incurs no obligation or liability to the Fund, any investor, or any other third party on account of the license.
Quincy Jones is not the issuer or a sponsor or promoter of the Fund; has not passed upon the merits of the Fund or the suitability of the Fund Shares as an investment by any person; and does not offer, sell, or recommend any investment in Fund Shares.
So take it from Quincy: this probably isn’t a great idea…