Latest ETF launch promotes social justice

The new fund joins a short list of other exchange-traded products that have had mixed investing results.

In the latest example of the ETF industry striking while the iron is hot, financial advisers will soon be able to allocate client portfolios to a fund that invests in causes supporting social justice.

The Adasina Social Justice All Cap Global ETF (JSTC) comes through a partnership with Tidal ETF Services and Adasina Social Capital. The fund was developed to incorporate a social justice investment strategy employed by Adasina sister company Robasciotti & Philipson, a financial advisory firm specializing in social justice portfolios.

“We are thrilled to partner with the team at Tidal to expand the impact of Adasina as a critical bridge between social justice movements and financial markets for the benefit of people and our planet, while creating space for community to grow,” said Rachel Roasciotti, founder of both Adasina Social Capital and Robasciotti & Philipson.

The new ETF joins a short list of funds designed to capitalize on the growing focus on social trends.

“It’s a positive sign that investors will have more choices to support racial equality,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual fund and ETF research at CFRA.

Similar examples cited by Rosenbluth include Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NACP) and SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE), both of which have struggled to attract assets.

NACP, which was launched in July 2018, has grown to just $9 million despite strong relative performance. The fund, which invests in companies based on a diversity scoring system, is up 11.7% from the start of the year and gained 30.7% last year.

By comparison, the S&P 500 Index is up 3.6% so far this year and gained 28.9% last year.

SHE, launched in March 2016, has attracted $134 million for a strategy focused on companies that employ women in high-level leadership roles. The fund is up 55 basis points this year and gained 11% last year.