Advertisement
investing

PowerShares: Benjamin Fulton

When Benjamin Fulton began working at what's now Invesco PowerShares in 2003, the firm had just two index-tracking exchange-traded funds. "We knew we had to be better, smarter and faster than the guys with all the money just to compete," he says.

When Benjamin Fulton began working at what's now Invesco PowerShares in 2003, the firm had just two index-tracking exchange-traded funds. "We knew we had to be better, smarter and faster than the guys with all the money just to compete," he says. So Fulton and his team decided to focus on problem solving.

Advertisement - Article continues below

One of the first problems they addressed was the indexes themselves. When an index weights stocks by market value (as does Standard & Poor's 500), the better a stock performs, the bigger a role it plays in the index. That creates the risk that the index tilts toward over-valued stocks. A firm called Research Affiliates was working on indexes that would weight companies by fundamental factors, such as cash flow and dividends. Fulton contacted the firm to forge a partnership. PowerShares now offers eight ETFs that bear the stamp of Research Affiliates.

The funds, which hold $3 billion in assets, are representative of PowerShares' approach to innovation -- scouring news, investment research and popular culture to see what issues are being debated and how an ETF might play into the solution. The company's rapidly growing investment mix includes funds that focus on clean energy (symbol PBW), water (PHO) and floating-rate bank loans (BKLN). PowerShares has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative ETF companies, with 120 funds all aimed at either providing a new way to diversify and hedge market risks or a better way to index.

Not every ETF innovation succeeds; PowerShares has closed about 30 funds over the past three years for lack of interest. But that doesn't mean Fulton and his colleagues will stop trying. Among PowerShares' latest offerings: stock funds geared to different levels of volatility. Still, Fulton says the real innovators are the PowerShares partners who create the indexes. "We're just looking for the rock stars," he says.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020
Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits
Coronavirus and Your Money

Turning 60 in 2020? Expect Lower Social Security Benefits

When you file for Social Security, the amount you receive may be lower.
July 30, 2020
How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One
Tax Breaks

How a Second Stimulus Check Could Differ from Your First One

The HEROES Act, which was passed by the House in May, would authorize a second round of stimulus checks. While the new payments would be similar to th…
July 22, 2020

Recommended

6 Best Biotech ETFs to Buy
ETFs

6 Best Biotech ETFs to Buy

Biotech ETFs provide access to this high-growth health care segment while limiting the impact of the industry's boom-or-bust nature.
August 7, 2020
Planning for Retirement in the New Normal of Covid-19
retirement planning

Planning for Retirement in the New Normal of Covid-19

Here are four ways we all need to adapt to keep our financial plans on track as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
August 6, 2020
10 Best Stocks to Buy If President Donald Trump Wins Re-Election
stocks to buy

10 Best Stocks to Buy If President Donald Trump Wins Re-Election

The 2020 election likely will be a pivot point for several areas of the market. Here are some of the best stocks to own should President Donald Trump …
August 4, 2020
10 Best Stocks to Buy If Joe Biden Wins the Presidency
stocks to buy

10 Best Stocks to Buy If Joe Biden Wins the Presidency

If Joe Biden emerges from the Nov. 3 election victorious, these 10 picks could be some of the best stocks to own under the new administration.
August 4, 2020