The story of WisdomTree ETF’s

WisdomTree started its ETF business in 2006. It has climbed to the seventh spot of ETF providers in the US and the tenth worldwide. But its history goes back to the nineties when it was a financial publisher. Today WisdomTree offers many ETF’s covering equities, bonds, currencies and alternative investments.

A history of financial publishing

WisdomTree records back at 1991 when it was introduced on the Nasdaq. Not as an ETF provider of course. WisdomTree Investments was founded by Jonathan Steinberg in the 80-ies and just after its introduction on the Nasdaq the name was changed to Financial Data Systems.

It had be publishing the Individual Investor magazine and after its IPO it started new publishing ventures with magazines like Ticker and many financial newsletters. As publishing became a challenge in the dawn of the internet era the company sold its media and stopped business.

The Nasdaq listing was stopped and the management of the company began to think and plan new activities. They had enough money in the bank due to the sales of its magazines so the main question was “What are we going to do next?”.

The period heading up to the ETF business

Between 2002 and 2005 the company changed names again as it was going to pursue opportunities in weighted indices. The name was now Index Development Partners and this period layed the foundations of the restart of WisdomTree when it decided to become a provider of ETF’s.

The first ETF’s were created in 2006. In 2011 WisdomTree was back on the Nasdaq when it had successfully transformed its company becoming one of the leading ETF providers in the US.

WisdomTree ETF today

WisdomTree is now headquartered in New York but operates also from offices in Toronto, London and Tokyo. They offer their ETF’s on global exchanges such as London, Milano and Frankfurt. WisdomTree offers mainly physical ETF’s.

They also offer something called Boost ETP’s. These are ETF’s that offer 2 to 5 times leverage. Of course risks and possible returns go up with these products. 

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