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NEW YORK (Big Picture Exclusive) – Gargantuan money manager Blackrock reported on Friday that assets in U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products have surpassed the $1 trillion milestone for the first time.  Combined assets in U.S.-listed ETFs and ETPs reached $1.027 trillion late Thursday, BlackRock said. That includes 894 ETFs with assets of $887.2 billion from 28 providers on two exchanges and 185 ETPs with assets of $115.5 billion from 20 providers on one exchange, it said.

There is growing speculation surrounding what is believed to be the next breakthrough product in the ETF marketplace:  Single stock tracking ETFs.  Unlike their index-based cousins, these new single stock trackers would, as the name implies, track only a single stock, trade at exactly the same price as the stock to which they’re linked and consequently eliminate the need for single stock ownership.  A top executive with a money management firm who is familiar with his company’s plans to launch such a product and was granted anonymity so he could speak freely, put it this way:  “Think about the prospect of, say, a GE tracking ETF — an investor could capture over 99% of the movement of GE while simultaneously forfeiting any claim to a dividend and paying us up to35 basis points to manage the ETF.  What’s not to like?  We think this product paves the way for the ETF marketplace to collect its next trillion in assets.”

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