An anti woke fund is 2022’s most successful ETF listing

An anti-woke, anti-ESG ETF listed this month on the New York Stock Exchange has attracted $238m in its first 14 days.

The ETF, named the Strive U.S. Energy ETF trades under the ticker DRILL. It was launched by Ohio-based investment firm, Strive Asset Management.

According to Bloomberg data, DRILL’s $230+ inflows in its first two weeks make it the most successful non-seeded ETF listed in the U.S. so far this year.

The ETF’s trading volume over the two week period exceeded $320 million. It is currently available on 25 brokerage platforms.

Drill and frack “without apologizing”

Strive Asset Management says its mission is to “restore the voices of everyday citizens in the American economy by leading companies to focus on excellence over politics”.

The firm’s executive chairman, Vivek Ramaswamy, said the record 2022 inflows demonstrate the message and strategy is resonating with a wide range of investors.

“Everyday citizens are delivering a powerful message to American energy companies: It’s time to drill, frack, and do whatever else is necessary to succeed without apologizing for it.”

“We hope to unlock the potential of the U.S. energy sector by mandating U.S. energy companies to focus exclusively on excellence over social agendas imposed by ESG-linked asset managers.”

DRILL is a passive ETF that tracks the Solactive United States Energy Regulated Capped Index.

Here are the ETF’s top 10 holding as at August 25, 2022.

anti woke
Source: Strive Asset Management

Virtue signalling frustration

The success of the DRILL ETF comes amid a growing chorus of ESG investing critics frustrated over the dogged focus on decarbonisation as the world grapples with rising energy prices.

A now notorious speech by finance executive Suart Kirk at a recent Financial Times conference resulted in him leaving his role as Global Head of Responsible Investing at HSBC Asset Management.

“There is no place for virtue signalling in finance. Likewise as a writer, researcher and investor, I know that words or trading shares can only achieve so much. True impact comes from the combination of real-world action and innovative solutions,” said Kirk.

“25 years in the finance industry, there’s always been some nut job telling me about the end of the world, I’ve dealt with gold bugs my whole financial career, the roof is going to cave down, Y2K – the lifts didn’t stop.

“But what bothers me about this one is the amount of work these people make me do. The amount of regulation coming down the pipes. The number of people in my team and at HSBC dealing with financial risk from climate change.

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