Franklin Templeton undercuts metaverse ETFs on price
Californian funds giant Franklin Templeton is launching the lowest fee metaverse ETF in Europe, undercutting competitor ETFs from HANetf and Roundhill.
The Franklin Metaverse UCITS ETF (FLRA) will list on major European exchanges this week. It tracks the Solactive Global Metaverse Innovation Net Total Return index.
The index is made of companies that have “significant exposure” to the metaverse and blockchain tech that supports it. Franklin includes an ESG screen that removes companies that violate UNGC principles or make weapons.
The index holds 60 companies, the top five of which are Apple, Paypal, Google, Facebook, Microsoft—making it look quite like a FANG ETF.
The fund charges 0.30%.
Bernie’s commentary – Solactive salesmen getting big bonuses
The metaverse has been the gift that keeps on giving for Solactive. Steffen Scheuble’s index company has flogged a different rendition of the metaverse to pretty much every ETF provider at this stage. As the metaverse has no standardised definition, and because the theme is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, everyone has a different idea what a metaverse index should look like. So Solactive can sell a different coloured lollipop to every child ( and all credit to them for so doing !)
By my count, Solactive has flogged about 20 metaverse indexes—all of which look slightly different. By my back-of-the envelope calculations, that comes to around $500,000 in annual index licensing revenue for Solactive.
In terms of product, Franklin’s interpretation of the metaverse looks to me a bit like the FANGs. I have no problem with this as I think that interpretation is probably correct. At a higher level, I wonder how much of this metaverse theme will turn out to be so much vapourware. And for that we will just have to wait and see.
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- ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (VIXY) has continued to prove its uselessness. Contango on VIX futures has meant VIXY’s index has significantly underperformed the VIX, the index it is designed to proxy for. VIXY is down 27% the past 12 months while the VIX is up 48%.