- A new ETF designed to track social-media sentiment on platforms like Reddit and Twitter is launching on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “BUZZ.”
- Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy posted a video on Twitter promoting the ETF on Tuesday.
- “There is a new ETF launching that I’m a part of, that I’m putting my reputation behind,” Portnoy said in the video.
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In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy promoted a new exchange-traded-fund that is set to launch on the New York Stock Exchange this Thursday.
The VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF tracks social media sentiment on various platforms like Reddit, StockTwits, and Twitter to fuel its holdings. The ETF will trade under the ticker symbol “BUZZ.”
“There is a new ETF launching that I’m a part of, that I’m putting my reputation behind,” Portnoy explained in the video. Portnoy added that he was “approached by these guys who built an algorithm” that “lingered” and “did its thing” for a number of years.
That algorithm is the BUZZ NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index developed by Periscope Capital in 2015.
But after COVID-19, “the amount of chatter on the internet about stocks exploded,” Portnoy said, adding that he was approached after Penn National Gaming, a casino company that Portnoy partnered with to launch its online sports betting app, “showed up in their ranking.”
The ETF utilizes alternative data about stocks scraped from social media posts, news articles, and blog posts that are then filtered through an analytical system that helps determines whether the sentiment in either positive or negative. From their, the top ranked 75 US stocks with a market capitalization of more than $5 billion are included in the ETF, which is rebalanced monthly.
“BUZZ empowers individual investors to potentially benefit from the predictive insights gained by measuring the collective convictions about stocks, ultimately building the benchmark for social sentiment,” VanEck managing director Ed Lopez said in a press release.
In an emailed statement to Insider, VanEck added: “David Portnoy is a shareholder of BUZZ Holdings, ULC, the parent company of the BUZZ NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index. He represents the Index and has no affiliation with VanEck. He does not provide investment advice on behalf of VanEck. There is no affiliation with VanEck and Barstool Sports.”
From criticizing Warren Buffett’s decision to sell airline stocks amid the pandemic, to his recent interview with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, Portnoy continues to make waves in the investment world as he periodically broadcasts to his millions of followers the moves he is making in the stock market.
A similar social media insight ETF from Sprott Asset Management that was based on a different social media sentiment index launched in 2016, but closed three years later after failing to attract enough assets.
The environment for a social media ETF may be better today than it was then, after millions of new investors flooded the stock market amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the outsized influence of forums like Reddit’s WallStreetBets, which helped sparked an epic short-squeeze in shares of GameStop earlier this year.