The Fate of the World’s Largest ETF Is Tied to 11 Random Millennials

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  • A wonky structure pegs the fund’s future to their mortality
  • Most of those named in the ETF’s documents were not aware

The fate of the world’s largest exchange-traded fund rests on the health of a group of twenty-somethings.

Thanks to a quirk in the legal structure used to set up the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, known as SPY, more than $250 billion rests on the longevity of 11 ordinary kids born between May 1990 and January 1993.

Those children are now carving out careers in public relations, restaurants and sales, spread around the country from Boston and Philadelphia to Alabama and Utah. But none of the eight spoken to by Bloomberg News was aware of their role in investing history.

“Today was the first I heard about this,” said Alexander Most, 27, who’s about to start graduate school, studying education, policy and management. “Has it made me think about my mortality? Absolutely, in terms of projecting when this thing might end.”


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