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The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic

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The following content is sponsored by iShares by BlackRock.

The History of ETFs

The 26-Year History of ETFs, in One Infographic

In recent decades, there have been many breakthrough technologies that have re-shaped the nature of entire industries.

In finance, perhaps the most notable disruption has come from the rise of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) — an investment vehicle that has quadrupled in size over the last decade alone. But how did the ETF originate, and how has its use evolved through to today?

Today’s infographic comes to us from iShares by BlackRock, and it shows how the ETF has gone from an obscure index tracking tool to becoming a mainstream investing vehicle that encompasses trillions of dollars of assets around the world.

The Origin and History of ETFs

ETFs emerged out of the index investing phenomenon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and there are two early examples that can be referenced as a starting point:

  • Index Participation Shares – 1989
    This initial attempt to create an ETF was set to track the S&P 500, and garnered significant investor interest. However, it was ruled to work like a futures contract according to a federal court in Chicago, so it never made it to the exchange.
  • Toronto 35 Index Participation Units – 1990
    These were a warehouse, receipt-based instrument that tracked Canada’s major index, the TSE-35. They allowed investors to participate in the performance in the index, without owning individual shares of stocks in the index.

Since these pioneering ETF endeavors, the investment vehicle has caught on in popularity — and it is now clear that ETFs provide a range of important benefits to investors, such as: low costs, liquidity, diversification, tax efficiency, flexibility, accessibility, and transparency.

Key Milestones in U.S. ETF History:

  • 1993 – The First ETF launches in the U.S., tracking the S&P 500
  • 1998 – Sector ETFs debut, tracking individual S&P 500 sectors
  • 2004 – The first U.S.-listed commodity ETF is formed, offering exposure to gold bullion
  • 2008 – Actively-managed ETFs get the green light from the SEC
  • 2010 – Term-maturity ETFs debut, holding bonds that all mature in same year
  • 2015 – First factor-based bond ETFs are launched
  • 2019 – U.S.-listed ETFs hit $4 trillion in AUM, and global bond ETF AUM crosses $1 trillion

How ETFs are Used Today

Today, the U.S. ETF industry has $4.04 trillion of assets under management (AUM), covering a wide spectrum of assets including equities, bonds, alternatives, and money markets.

ETFs are now the go-to index vehicle for 78% of institutional investors, according to a study by Greenwich Associates. Here are the 10 most popular applications for ETFs based on the same data:

ETF ApplicationUsageDescription
Tactical adjustments72%Over- or underweight certain styles, regions, or countries on the basis of short term views.
Core allocation68%Build a long-term strategic holding in a portfolio.
Rebalancing60%Manage portfolio risk in between rebalancing cycles.
Portfolio completion57%Fill in gaps in a strategic asset allocation.
International diversification56%Gain efficient access to foreign markets.
Liquidity management54%Maintain exposure in a liquid investment vehicle to meet cash flow needs.
Transition management44%Facilitate manager transitions with ETFs.
Risk management42%Mitigate undesired portfolio risk and hedge asset allocation decisions.
Interim beta37%Maintain market exposure while refining a long-term view.
Cash equitization37%Put long-term cash positions to work with ETFs to minimize cash drag.

In the 26 years since the introduction of ETFs, they have grown and evolved to cover almost every aspect of the market. The next stage of growth for the ETF will be driven by investors finding even more uses for these versatile tools.

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Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures in the Earth’s surface waiting for discovery. Skeena Resources is opening the vault in the Golden Triangle at Eskay Creek.

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Natural Wealth

Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures of gold, silver, copper, and much more that lie beneath the Earth’s surface, awaiting discovery—and it takes mineral exploration and the right team to unlock this hidden wealth from the depths.

Mining exploration company Skeena Resources is opening the vault to the treasures of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle at the famous Eskay Creek property.

Following in footsteps of other successful mineral exploration efforts, Skeena is proving there is more value to unlock at Eskay Creek. The Golden Triangle is already home to some of the most productive mines in the world.

Keys to the Vault: Turning Discoveries into Resources

A mineral exploration company such as Skeena conducts geological studies to turn a discovery into a mineable resource. As each mineral deposit becomes better understood, new value is unlocked and its economic value increases.

The mining industry uses three resource classifications for a mineral discovery, based on the amount and proximity of drill holes.

  1. Inferred
  2. Indicated
  3. Measured

Each one of these categories represent the confidence with which an economic source of minerals exists. The “Inferred” classification is the lowest level of confidence that a certain amount of ore exists in a location while “Measured” is the highest.

Companies drill holes and pull out small samples of the ground in order to discover and measure the continuity and grade of a mineral occurrence. The results of drilling provide more and more data for improving the understanding of a deposit. Each study eventually cuts the key to unlock the treasure below.

Grade is King: The Higher the Grade, The Lower the Costs

In order for a mineral deposit to be valuable it must pass the grade. The amount of the sought-after mineral within a particular amount of rock is known as the ore grade. Typically, the higher the ore grade, the more profitable a mine can be.

Skeena Resource’s Eskay Creek has a grade of 4.3 grams per tonne ‘g/t’, making it 3x higher than the global average grade of open pit mining projects. This could potentially make it all the more unique and valuable to investors.

Unlocking the Vault

Gold’s value is in part due to its rarity. The precious metal cannot be artificially produced and is only found deep inside the vault that is the Earth’s crust. This makes mineral exploration an extremely rewarding business if a discovery is made.

In terms of statistics, the odds are 1 in 10,000 that greenfield exploration produces a profitable mine—and odds are even more remote for a mineral occurrence to become a world-class mine. Further, if a gold deposit is actually found, there is only a 10% chance it will have enough gold justify further development.

Through targeted mineral exploration, Skeena Resources is proving there is more golden treasure to uncover at the legendary Eskay Creek.

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

The healthcare industry is complex and interdependent. Much like a highway interchange, it relies on multiple players and processes to flow smoothly.

But just like in an interchange, a single roadblock can bring the system to a grinding halt—leading to serious consequences for all involved.

The Healthcare Silos

In healthcare, there are three primary players, each with their own priorities. However, they stay in their own lane and rely on independent software systems to achieve their goals.

Healthcare playerMain prioritySystem used
PatientsSeek an engaged and personalized experienceDigital technologies
- Example: mobile health, wearables
- Provide constant monitoring and instantaneous updates
Providers (Doctors, nurses, and more)Provide the highest quality of careElectronic health records
- A comprehensive record of a patient’s medical history
Payers (Insurance companies)Balance the cost and quality of careClaims database
- Information on medical appointments, bills, and more (some claims can take 60 days to process)

This leads to frustrations for all parties, including poor communication and uncoordinated care.

A Not-So-Patient Journey

What factors lead to a less-than-desirable experience? Challenges arise from the moment a patient walks into a hospital

  1. Entering the Emergency Department (ED)
    Overcrowded EDs are often the first point of contact for a patient. On average, 43.3 per 100 people visit the emergency department annually in the United States for everything from fevers to injuries. Of these, 6 out of 10 must wait longer than 15 minutes before they can be seen by a provider.
  2. Playing the Waiting Game
    Patients are willing to endure up to 2 hours in the emergency department, but wait times often surpass that. The average wait time in 2017 was upwards of 352 minutes, or almost six hours. As a result, up to 9% of patients leave without being seen (LWBS).

There’s simple psychology behind why some people aren’t able to wait it out. According to former Harvard professor David Maister, unoccupied time that is compounded with anxiety makes a wait feel longer.

These long waits also affect a patient’s perception and satisfaction of the care they eventually do receive.

The True Cost

After they’re admitted, inconsistent processes and flows continue to plague patient experiences.

A typical hospital stay can rack up a single patient close to $12,000 across 4.6 days. With these costs climbing every year, uncoordinated care adds to these receipts by extending the stay.

Uncoordinated care also creates a dire strain on resources, including the humans behind all the work. The resulting physician burnout costs the U.S. health system $32 billion annually. While lost productivity causes over half ($18 billion) of this amount, another $8.5 billion is due to poor experiences, which impacts patient satisfaction which leads to falling margins for hospitals.

Severe bottlenecks compound these issues, forcing the healthcare system into a gridlock.

What’s Causing the Jam?

Disjointed communication and a lack of visibility across systems are the major reasons for these costly standstills. This is analogous to using a paper map to navigate:

  • No updates based on the current situation
  • Time-consuming to figure out specific route to a destination
  • Show multiple routes, but not the fastest way to get there

What if there was a smart GPS to help the healthcare industry overcome roadblocks?

  • Real-time, dynamic updates on the current situation
  • Knows where you are, and where you need to go
  • Filters only the appropriate and relevant information

The Leidos careC2 Command Center solves healthcare traffic jams.

The coordinated technology suite rapidly identifies and reduces bottlenecks and delays in the care process. This improves the operational flow of hospitals—so that patients, providers, and payers all reach their destinations safely and efficiently.

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