Beyond the Garden Variety of ETFS

Like planting seeds, sometimes new investment vehicles take time to take root. David Mann, Franklin Templeton’s Head of Global ETF Product and Capital Markets, draws parallels between gardening and developing and growing new ETFs.

In my last post, I discussed what baseball batting averages can teach us about exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But alas, my dream of a strong season for the Oakland A’s has met the reality of a 0.20 winning percentage and an apparent franchise move to Las Vegas. What is happening here?! With my baseball interest now at an all-time low, I’ve shifted to one of my other summer pleasures—gardening. I suppose it took a move to California for me to find my green thumb, but now I love the entire process that ideally leads to an abundant harvest toward the middle of summer.

Recently, within our ETF organization, “product development and strategy” has been added to my capital markets plate. Specifically, I now need to contemplate the viability of both our current and future ETFs as well as how they trade.

As I was tending to my garden last weekend, it occurred to me that many of the lessons I have learned from gardening through the years have some clear analogies to our ETF lineup. (Yes, I have a work/life balance problem). For your enjoyment:

  • Vegetables, like ETFs, both start from seed.

Sorry, this one was too easy.

  • Even very similar vegetables grow at their own pace.