Guru Tracking ETFs

Introduction

A guru tracking ETF is an ETF that attempts to "mirror" the investments made by famous billionaires, hedge fund managers and/or stock market analysts. It is a term that we have invented at StockMarketMBA.com. There are a small number of guru tracking ETFs in our database, as shown in this table:

CategoryCount
Global Equity 2
US Equity8
Total10

Most guru tracking ETFs are relatively new, as shown by this table:

Year of InceptionCount
20032
20061
20123
20151
20161
20182
Total10

Note that there were probably even more guru ETFs launched then this table shows, as we are only displaying the launch dates of ETFs that are still actively traded. There were probably more ETFs that were launched during these years that have since been closed down by their sponsor.

Guru tracking ETFs often combine guru tracking with other investment factors:

Number of Factors UsedCount
16
32
42
Total10

Approaches Used

Here are the guru tracking ETFs:

SymbolDescriptionInception DateCategoryActions
FVLFirst Trust Value Line 100 Fund ETF06/12/2003US EquityAnalyze
FVDFirst Trust VL Dividend ETF08/19/2003US EquityAnalyze
RYJInvesco Raymond James SB-1 Equity ETF05/19/2006US EquityAnalyze
MOATMarket Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF04/24/2012US EquityAnalyze
ALFAAlphaClone Alternative Alpha ETF05/31/2012US EquityAnalyze
GURUGlobal X Guru Index ETF06/04/2012US Equity Analyze
MOTIVanEck Vectors Morningstar International Moat ETF07/13/2015Global EquityAnalyze
GVIPGoldman Sachs Hedge Industry VIP ETF11/01/2016US Equity Analyze
TMFCMotley Fool 100 ETF01/31/2018US EquityAnalyze
GOATVanEck Vectors Morningstar Global Wide Moat ETF10/20/2018Global Equity Analyze

Let's look at the approaches used by these ETFs.

FVL - First Trust Value Line 100 Fund ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Value Line 100 Index.    The index selects 100 stocks from the universe of stocks of which Value Line, Inc. gives a #1 ranking in the Value Line Timeliness Ranking System (the "Ranking System"). The Index is comprised of securities of companies that are listed on a U.S. exchange. Value Line reconstitutes the Index on a monthly basis to match any changes in those stocks ranked #1 by the Ranking System. Each week, Value Line screens a wide array of data, using a series of proprietary calculations, such as long-term earnings and price trends, recent company earnings and price performance and earnings relative to expectations, to assign a Timeliness rank to each of the approximately 1,700 stocks in the Value Line universe, based on their expected price performance relative to the other stocks in the universe over the following 6 to 12 months. At any one time, only 100 stocks are ranked #1 in the Ranking System. The Index is rebalanced on or about the last Thursday of each calendar quarter so that each stock will be equally weighted as of such date. Market cap: $33,787,118

FVD - First Trust VL Dividend ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Value Line Dividend Index.    The Index begins with the universe of stocks that Value Line gives a Safety Ranking of #1 or #2 using the Value Line Safety Ranking System. All registered investment companies, limited partnerships and foreign securities not listed in the U.S. are removed from this universe. From those stocks, Value Line selects those companies with a higher than average dividend yield, as compared to the indicated dividend yield of the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index. Value Line then eliminates those companies with an equity market capitalization of less than $1 billion. The index seeks to be equally weighted in each of the securities in the index. The index is rebalanced on the application of the above model on a monthly basis. Market cap: $8,542,939,255

RYJ - Invesco Raymond James SB-1 Equity ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Raymond James SB-1 Equity Index.    The Index is composed of all equity securities rated Strong Buy 1 ("SB-1") by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. as of each rebalance and reconstitution date. Index constituents include equity securities of all market capitalizations. The Index will be rebalanced and reconstituted twice per calendar month. The securities in the index are equal weighted. Market cap: $108,822,497

MOAT - Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index.    The Index is an equal-weighted index intended to offer exposure to between 40 and 80 of the most attractively priced companies with sustainable competitive advantages according to Morningstar’s equity research team. To be eligible, a company must be assigned an economic moat rating of wide by Morningstar's Equity Research team and be assigned a fair value estimate by Morningstar's Equity Research team. From among the remaining companies, those representing the lowest current market price/fair value ratios are included in the index until the number of constituents reaches 80. However, if securities fall short of the selection and eligibility criteria or if securities are added or deleted as a result of corporate actions after reconstitution, the portfolio can hold fewer than 80 companies. Market cap: $3,259,486,500

ALFA - AlphaClone Alternative Alpha ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the AlphaClone Hedge Fund Downside Hedged Index.    The Index tracks the performance of US-traded equity securities to which hedge funds and institutional investors have disclosed significant exposure. The Index ranks hedge funds and institutional investors based on the efficacy of replicating their publicity disclosed positions. Equities are selected from those managers with the highest ranking, or "Clone Score". The index is risk managed in that it can vary between being long only and market hedged based on certain rules-driven relative price targets tied to a broad market index. The index can oscillate between being long only or market hedged. The hedge is triggered on (off) when the S&P 500 closes below (above) its 200 day simple moving average at any month end. When the index is hedged, it remains long its holdings and shorts the S&P 500 index in an amount equal to 85% of value of the index’s long positions on the day the hedge takes effect. The index hedge adjustment (on or off) takes effect at market close two trading days after the hedge is triggered. Index constituents are equal weighted at the time of each reconstitution but have an overlap bias (i.e., holdings held by twice as many hedge funds and institutional investors have twice the weight). Additionally, each individual constituent is limited to a 5% weighting at the time of each reconstitution. Market cap: $23,196,000

GURU - Global X Guru Index ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Solactive Guru Index.    The Index tracks the price movements of the top equity holdings of a select group of hedge funds based on the quarterly regulatory filings reported to the SEC. The hedge fund pool consists of hedge funds with a total market value of at least 500 million USD and those hedge funds that have a top hedge fund portfolio holding that accounts for at least 4.8% of the hedge fund's portfolio market value. For those hedge funds, the Index includes only the hedge fund's #1 holding based on market value. The Index is adjusted on a quarterly basis after the publication of the 13F filings. Index constituents are weighted equally. Market cap: $55,474,046

MOTI - VanEck Vectors Morningstar International Moat ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Morningstar Global ex-US Moat Focus Index.    The Index is an equal-weighted index intended to offer exposure to 50 attractively priced companies outside the U.S. with sustainable competitive advantages according to Morningstar's equity research team. To be eligible for the index, all constituents must meet the following criteria 1) The Company is assigned an economic moat rating of wide or narrow by Morningstar's Equity Research team; 2) Eligible securities are ranked by the percentage change in price from 12 months ago. The securities in the bottom 20% are screened out; 3) From among the remaining companies, those representing the lowest current market price/fair value ratios are included in the index until the number of constituents reaches 50. Market cap: $55,271,000

GVIP - Goldman Sachs Hedge Industry VIP ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the GS Hedge Fund VIP Index.    The Index is constructed in accordance with a rules-based methodology derived from concepts previously developed by Goldman Sachs’ Global Investment Research division. The Index consists of the top 50 U.S. stocks that appear most frequently among the top 10 long equity holdings of a pool of select hedge funds. The pool of hedge funds is determined quarterly by excluding entities with fewer than 10 or more than 200 distinct US-listed equity positions as reported in their most recent 13F filings, and less than $10 million of equity assets reported in their most recent 13F filing. Limiting the universe to those hedge funds with 10-200 equity positions is an attempt to isolate the hedge fund managers that are more fundamentally-driven from those that are more activist or quantitative, who typically hold fewer or greater numbers of positions, respectively. Market cap: $97,991,000

TMFC - Motley Fool 100 ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Motley Fool 100 Index.    The Index is a market-cap weighted index that measures the performance of the 100 largest active buy recommendations from The Motley Fool. Companies in the index are incorporated and listed in the United States and are open “buy” recommendations in Motley Fool research publications or among the top 150 stocks in The Motley Fool’s “Fool IQ” research database. The Index is reconstituted quarterly. Market cap: $260,275,000

GOAT - VanEck Vectors Morningstar Global Wide Moat ETF

Seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the Morningstar Global Wide Moat Focus Index.    The Index tracks the overall performance of attractively priced global companies with sustainable competitive advantages according to Morningstar's equity research team. Market cap: $9,180,000

Conclusion

Notice that these guru tracking ETFs are actively managed ETFs, or they are attempting to track the investments of active fund managers and stock analysts. So you have to decide if you believe in active management of a portfolio versus index investing. You can read more in our article active versus passive investing.

We are not a big fan of these guru tracking ETFs. One thing we do at StockMarketMBA.com is give each ETF a rating for long term investors. Here are our ratings of the guru tracking ETFs:

Our ratingCount
Not rated1
Incomplete2
Pass5
Consider1
Editor's choice1
Total10

Our ratings are probably biased in that we prefer ETFs that track indexes. So philosophically, we are not too excited about an ETF that is attempting to track active fund managers and analysts.


All data is a live query from our database. The wording was last updated: 05/07/2020.

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