Alternative ETFs 2.0 Are Here, but Is It Too Late?

 Alternative ETFs 2.0 Are Here, but Is It Too Late?


Illustration by Jack Richardson

Ever since the 2007-09 financial crisis, alternative exchange-traded funds have seemed like exotic failures. These ETFs—designed to hedge against market downturns or provide portfolio diversification by behaving differently from stocks and bonds—were celebrated after the crash, then largely ignored by investors in the great bull market that followed.

But once the 2020 pandemic slide began, a new crop of alternative ETFs was launched. Since the beginning of February 2020, 84 have opened, more than doubling the total to 146,…


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