The Easiest Way for Regular Investors to Get IPO Exposure

The beauty of ETFs is they allow a regular investor the ability to get easy access to certain asset classes.

It isn’t just indexes like the S&P 500 or the TSX Composite, either. ETFs allow easy access to a diversified portfolio of bonds, preferred shares, or dividend paying stocks. ETFs can also be used to make a diversified bet on one sector.

In a race to gain market share, ETF providers have released products that are more and more specialized. One of these is the Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSE:IPO), which gives investors access to companies that have just started trading.

The first thing investors should know about this product is its size and lack of liquidity. There are just 600,000 shares outstanding with a total market cap of just over $13 million.

Less than 100 shares trade hands on an average day and it has a management expense ratio of 0.6%. It pays a small dividend, but nothing worth getting excited over.

Top holdings include First Data Corp (9.4% of assets), Transunion (7.8% of assets) and Shopify (5.5% of assets). It has a total of 45 different holdings.

The ETF decides on new holdings by looking at the IPO market and placing an emphasis on larger issues. These issues are capped at 10% of assets. Smaller issues are added during scheduled quarterly reviews. And all IPOs are dropped from the ETF two years after they begin trading.

This ETF has been around for close to a decade, first trading in June 2009. It is up 135% since inception, crushing the S&P 500, which is up 52% in the same time period.