Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, let you invest in everything from the stock market to gold like never before. This biweekly podcast will demystify them—and delight you in the process.
- The ESG BacklashBlackRock and Vanguard collectively own about 15% of every US company, but are they voting their shares in a way that aligns with investors in their funds? One new exchange-traded fund company, Strive Asset Management, says they aren’t, claiming they’ve gone against their fiduciary duty by becoming too “woke” and forming an “ideological cartel.” Now it has plans to offer alternatives. We talk to Vivek Ramaswamy and Anson Frericks, co-founders of Strive. They plan to launch ETFs similar to those of BlackRock and Vanguard, but promise to keep politics and ESG concerns out of their voting. They discuss criticisms of ESG investing, stakeholder vs. shareholder capitalism and what Ramaswamy calls “excellence capitalism.” They also talk about how Strive will compete against the two biggest asset managers on the planet, and its noteworthy backers—including Peter Theil and Bill Ackman.
- Inside "The Bogle Effect"Three years ago, Eric and Joel went to Jack Bogle's office in Malvern, Pa. and recorded an episode of Trillions. That interview helped inspire Eric's new book, "The Bogle Effect," about the Vanguard founder's influence on investing and the financial industry. On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel are joined by Annie Massa, who covers Vanguard for Bloomberg News, to go over some of the big points Eric makes in his book. Among other topics, they discuss why Vanguard's ownership structure was the real innovation and the rise of passive investing is pushing active managers to get way more active. They also discuss the book-writing process and Eric's motivation for publishing his second book.
- The Great Emerging Markets DebateThis past year has reminded everyone why they’re called “emerging” markets. But it’s gone further this time, with investors questioning whether they even want to own anything in countries ruled by authoritarian governments, such as those in Russia and China. The conversation, in other words, has evolved. On this week’s episode of Trillions, we recorded live from the Exchange conference in Miami with Perth Tolle, founder of Life + Liberty Indexes, Jeremy Schwartz, chief information officer of WisdomTree and Bloomberg reporter Katie Greifeld. Tolle and Schwartz have a friendly debate about whether China and Russia deserve a spot in a portfolio. We also discuss currency-hedged exchange-traded funds and life as a small ETF issuer.
- Words of Wisdom From Mr. ETFNobody deserves the nickname Mr. ETF as much as Reggie Browne, principal of GTS and a renowned market maker. He's had an amazing behind-the-scenes vantage these past few decades because almost everyone launching a new ETF comes to ask for his blessing—and seek his seed capital. This special episode of Trillions was recorded in front of a live audience as a Bloomberg New Voices event. Eric and his guest co-host, Scarlet Fu of Bloomberg Quicktake, interview Reggie about how ETFs are born, whether they need a rating system, the prospects of a bitcoin ETF, and why theme ETFs such as ARK have staying power. Started in 2018, Bloomberg New Voices began as an effort to increase female representation on Bloomberg TV and in Bloomberg News coverage; it's since expanded to include Black and Latinx executives. For more information, or to participate in the Bloomberg New Voices media training program, please visit www.bloomberg.com/newvoices.
- When ETFs Stop WorkingIf ETFs were living creatures, they might be cockroaches—they can survive almost anything. And yet Russia's invasion of Ukraine has presented a rare test. The VanEck Russia ETF, or $RSX, has seen its trading halted; the product holds shares of Russian companies, many of them in the energy and financial sectors. Investors may end up recovering only a fraction of their exposures; retail traders who used options to short the ETF ahead of its mid-February nosedive may not be able to collect their winnings, either. Elsewhere in the world, the exchange-traded product $VXX went haywire recently, with Barclays temporarily suspending share issuance. What's happening here? On this episode of Trillions, Eric and Joel discuss these recent events with Dave Nadig of ETF Trends, and Katie Greifeld, ETF reporter with Bloomberg News and the co-host of ETF IQ on Bloomberg TV. They go over the unprecedented nature of RSX's circumstances and what it all means, and they explore why the best days of exchange-traded notes might be behind them. Eric also adds audio from his native habitat: the Philadelphia train station.