How big are ETFs these days? Even Kevin O’Leary, aka “Mr. Wonderful” of ABC’s “Shark Tank” is getting into the game. On Tuesday, O’Leary was on the NYSE floor to launch the O’Shares FTSE US Quality Dividend ETF, (ARCA NYSE:OUSA): a basket of high-dividend stocks.
But he’s not doing this just to enter the crowded ETF space, which already has 1,700 ETFs and more than 50 ETF providers.
As noted by the coverage from CNBC, “Mr. Wonderful” is entering the exchange-traded fund world as an Issuer because he needed an investment vehicle for the equity portion of his family trust, which he started in 1997. O’Leary claims he wanted an investment vehicle that was rule-based, first and foremost, so no one would tinker with it.
And he wanted dividends. Why dividends? As O’Leary accurately opines, 70 percent of the returns in the stock market over the past decade or so have come from dividends.
But O’Leary did not just want to buy a basket of the highest-yielding ETFs. You can get that already with Vanguard High Dividend Yield, and you can get variations, like the iShares Select Dividend, that screen by dividend-per-share growth rate, or the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF, which focuses on companies that have steadily increased dividends. O’Leary’s rule-based system is predicated on the following:
- A total yield close to 3 percent
- with 20 percent less volatility than the market
- with stocks that all had strong balance sheets
OUSA is therefore comprised of 140 stocks selected from the FTSE USA Index, comprised of 600 of the largest U.S. publicly-listed equities.
Given the high-profile presence and PR power of O’Leary, O’Shares made its debut on Tuesday in heavy volume. It’s the latest in a flurry of new ETF launches this month; now with 28 new funds, July is already tied for the most ETF launches of any month this year.