Social-media sentiment ETF backed by Dave Portnoy scores $280 million in inflows on first day of trading

DAVE PORTNOY NASDAQ
founder Dave Portnoy visits the Nasdaq on February 27, 2020 after Penn National Gaming purchased a stake in the media company valuing it at $US450 ($587) million. Barstool Sports


The VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF fell 4% in its first day of trading on Thursday, but that didn’t stop investors from piling into the fund.

According to data from Bloomberg, the ETF, which trades under the ticker symbol “BUZZ” and is backed by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, saw $US280 ($365) million in fund inflows on Thursday. That’s a stark comparison to the first iteration of the ETF, which launched in 2016 but shut down three years later due to its inability to attract assets.

It’s been a perfect storm for the ETF to be relaunched this year, following a surge in new retail investors amid the pandemic and the outsized influence of Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum on so-called meme stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment. 

The ETF aims to capitalize on the growing use of online platforms as a sounding board for trade ideas. The fund tracks an index that scrubs websites like Reddit, StockTwits, and Twitter to determine which stocks are garnering the most positive sentiment online. Holdings are then weighted accordingly.

With thousands of ETFs to choose from, and hundreds of new ETFs launching every year, it’s tough competition to attract new assets, especially for a specialty ETF that is not tied to a passive index. But the BUZZ ETF did just that.

According to Bloomberg, the first day of inflows for the ETF “probably ranks it among the 12 best debuts on record.”

Read more: 
GOLDMAN SACHS: These 40 heavily shorted stocks could be the next GameStop if retail traders target them – and the group has already nearly doubled over the past 3 months