New ETF to only hold companies determined to be supportive to veterans
Investors looking for a way to indirectly support women and men in the military may soon have a new option they can enlist in their portfolios.
A new exchange-traded fund, slated to begin trading before the end of the year, is dedicated to only holding companies that are seen as supportive to veterans and their families. According to a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the InsightShares Military Veterans ETF will only hold companies “determined to be military friendly,” a term the filing uses as a registered trademark.
The term “refers to a standard created by Victory Media that measures a company’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful employment opportunities for our nation’s military veterans,” the filing read. Victory Media is an organization that helps military spouses and veterans gain access to civilian employment and education.
To develop the index the fund tracks, Victory Media will designate eligible companies with either bronze, silver or gold-level status, with that being based off “publicly available data of a company, including information from the U.S. Department of Defense, Labor, Education and Veterans Affairs regarding the company’s standing under various government programs.” Survey data, including from veterans employed by the companies, will also be utilized in determining the holdings.
The index was created by UBS, while the ETF will be sponsored by Exchange Traded Concepts. J. Garrett Stevens, the president of Exchange Traded Concepts, said the ETF was targeting a mid-December launch date, and that its ticker symbol and expense ratio weren’t yet known. He otherwise declined to comment as the fund is currently in a “quiet period” while it is being reviewed by the SEC.
The filing also didn’t indicate whether the fund was designed to deliver better returns than the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.18% or the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, -0.06% or whether it was primarily a way for investors to support a cause or make a political statement. Such funds are a small-but-growing category; there is a fund that only invests in companies that contribute to Republican politicians, and others that adhere to religious principals in what they hold or exclude from their portfolios. Many of these funds are thinly traded and have struggled to amass assets.
Another ETF that fits into this category focuses on LGBT-friendly companies, and this was also a focus of the InsightShares filing. In addition to the Military Veterans ETF, the filing also included information about another proposed fund, the InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETF, which holds companies “that promote and provide equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.”
The filing lacked information about what the Employment Equality ETF would charge, or what its ticker symbol would be. It said the holdings would be developed through the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.