There's a brand new way to bet on Trump tax reform

  • EventShares just launched its US Tax Reform Fund (TAXR), which gives investors exposure to companies that are poised to see the greatest benefit from Trump’s tax measures.
  • It’s the first exchange-traded fund in history to track a specific policy initiative.

As painstaking progress has been made on President Donald Trump‘s proposed tax plan, investors have scrambled to find ways to trade it.

After all, according to Goldman Sachs, progress on the tax reform front is the single most crucial element in driving future stock market returns — or taking them away.

Those traders are in luck, because a new exchange-traded fund was launched last week with the express purpose of tracking tax reform. Called the EventShares US Tax Reform Fund (ticker: TAXR), it provides exposure to companies that are poised to see the greatest benefit from the measures floated by Trump.

The actively-managed, equal-weighted ETF is the first-ever fund to track a specific political policy. It invests in both equity and debt securities, and holds between 30 to 75 positions, according to a recent release. The top three positions as of Monday were WW Grainger, AK Steel and Caleres, and the fund held roughly $US2 million in assets.

“Adding the active component allows us to manage the funds dynamically, in keeping with constantly changing fortunes of the political parties, and rapidly evolving global events,” EventShares CIO Ben Phillips said in the release.

The ETF launch comes at a time when passive investment has never been hotter. The combined assets of US ETFs hit $US3.1 trillion in August, increasing roughly $US700 billion in a single year, according to Investment Company Institute data.

But just because this is the first policy-tracking ETF doesn’t mean traders have been previously unable to wager on Trump’s tax plan. For months, Wall Street has been recommending ways for anxious investors to profit from the possibility of tax reform.

Those suggestions normally involve buying stock in the most heavily-taxed US companies — with the logic being that they will benefit most from Trump’s proposed tax cuts. The idea of buying stock in internationally-exposed companies poised to get a boost from a one-time tax repatriation holiday has also been floated.

However, those methods are imprecise. What the EventShares ETF hopes to do is provide a more targeted approach, with no room for complicating factors.

Now all the Republicans have to do is pass the reform, which is a discussion for another day.

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