Innovator ETFs to Mark a New Era in Bond Investing with Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™

With prices, issuance and duration near record highs, Innovator’s Defined Outcome Bond ETFs seek to provide exposure to bonds with known buffer levels against losses

“TFJL” – Innovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™ – JULY: Upside performance of TLT to a cap and maximum loss of 5% over the outcome period 

“TBJL” – Innovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™ – JULY: Upside performance of TLT to a cap with a buffer against the initial 9% of losses over the outcome period

CHICAGO, Aug. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovator Capital Management, LLC (Innovator) today announced plans to bring to market the first Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™, marking a new era in bond ETF investing. As interest rates sit near historic lows with both duration1 and bond prices close to record highs, Innovator Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™ are the world’s first ETFs to provide upside exposure to bonds with built-in downside buffer levels. The ETFs are intended to be a core bond solution in today’s challenging interest rate reality.

On Tuesday, August 18th, the Innovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™ – July (TFJL) and the Innovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™ – July (TBJL) are set to list on the Cboe. TFJL will seek to provide exposure to the upside performance of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) to a cap and a floor against downside losses in excess of 5% over the outcome period. TBJL will seek to provide exposure to the upside performance of TLT to a cap and a buffer against the first 9% of price losses over the outcome period.

“We’re very excited to bring the benefits of Defined Outcome ETF™ investing to the bond market and chart another completely new category in the ETF world. Today, advisors are faced with some of the highest risk bond markets in history, which is compelling many to rethink conventional wisdom when it comes to the core of their debt allocations. Institutional investors have several tools to hedge against risks in bonds but advisors have very few. With the listing of these new Defined Outcome Bond ETFs, advisors will have some of the same sophisticated tools available to institutions but in the liquid and tax-efficient ETF structure. We think Innovator’s Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™ will provide significant potential improvements to all advisors with bond allocations by removing some of their clients’ exposure to the substantial interest rate tail risk. TFJL and TBJL can be implemented as part of a core bond allocation to mitigate downside risk while still maintaining some of the upside performance potential,” said Bruce Bond, CEO of Innovator ETFs.

John Southard, CIO of Innovator ETFs, said, “With rates approaching zero, bonds are increasingly bought for diversification, not income. But with durations extending and bond risks rising, advisors are now seeking to add a measurable buffer to the ‘safe’ side of their portfolio.”

“For decades, long-term U.S. Treasuries have exhibited a strong negative correlation to equities, especially in periods of stress and negative returns for stocks. This negative correlation to stocks provides a strong case for long-dated U.S. government debt in a portfolio setting. Yet, with more duration comes more volatility, which can make owning Treasuries further out on the curve tough to stomach. This vulnerability is magnified today, with rates in a position where there is a lot more room to move up than down. And with the twin engines of fiscal and monetary policy currently creating money like never before, many worry inflation could materialize substantially over the mid-term,” Southard continued. 

“Bonds are hyper-sensitive to interest rate risk. In fact, if rates move back up to where they were at the beginning of the year, core-bonds would lose -9%, and they would fall -17% if rates were to rise to where they were two years ago. Long-term U.S. treasury prices would fall more than -20% if rates went back to January 1st and -34% if rates were to rise to where they were two years ago2. Many investors cannot afford to take this type of risk in their bond portfolios. Yet at the same time, worries are mounting that equity allocations face risks as stock markets continue to look past the biggest economic contraction in our lifetimes, which makes the uncorrelated nature of long-dated U.S. debt too important to forego in a portfolio setting. With Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™, Innovator intends to help advisors and investors solve this challenge by providing core bond ETF solutions that seek to limit loss while maximizing the potential diversification benefits of the asset class,” concluded Southard.

Anticipated return profiles for the Innovator Defined Outcome Bond ETFs – July Series, as of 8/11/20

TickerNameBuffer LevelCap Range*Outcome Period
TFJLInnovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™5.00% Floor5.57 – 7.00%
12 months
8/18/20 – 6/30/21
TBJLInnovator 20+ Year Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™9.00% Buffer6.08 - 8.25%
12 months
8/18/20 – 6/30/21

* The Cap Ranges above are shown gross of their respective management fee (.79%). The actual Cap for each Fund will be set at the beginning of the Outcome Period, and is dependent upon market conditions at that time. Periods of high market volatility could result in higher caps, and lower volatility could result in lower caps. As a result, the Cap set by each Fund may be higher or lower than the Cap Range. “Cap” refers to the maximum potential return, before fees and expenses and any shareholder transaction fees and any extraordinary expenses, if held over the full Outcome Period. “Buffer” refers to the amount of downside protection the fund seeks to provide, before fees and expenses, over the full Outcome Period. The Floor is only operative against Underlying ETF share price losses exceeding 5% over the duration of the Outcome Period. There is no guarantee that the Fund will be successful in its attempt to provide the Floor. If an investor is considering purchasing Shares during the Outcome Period, and the Fund has already increased in value, then a shareholder may experience losses prior to gaining the protection offered by the Floor, which is not guaranteed. Outcome Period is the intended length of time over which the defined outcomes are sought. Upon fund launch, the Caps can be found on a daily basis via TFJL and TBJL are not yet available for investment.

At the end of TFJL and TBJL’s outcome period, June 30, 2021, the ETFs will simply rebalance and reset, providing investors with a fresh 5% Floor or 9% Buffer, respectively, and new upside caps over the next one year outcome period. The ETFs do not expire and can be long-term core bond holdings in a portfolio. The options-based ETFs are anticipated to be as tax-efficient as traditional bond ETFs, with no planned cap gains distributions to shareholders and investors being able to defer taxes until selling.

Investors in the Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™ and Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™ Suites will not receive yield from their holdings in TFJL and/or TBJL, respectively; the ETFs are based on the price returns of TLT over the length of the outcome period.

The Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™ and Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™ Suites will charge a 0.79% management fee. The Cboe FLEX Options forming the underlying positions of the Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 5 Floor ETF™ and the Innovator 20+ Yr Treasury Bond 9 Buffer ETF™ are based on TLT because of the high volumes and deep liquidity of the options market on the reference ETF relative to the options market for long-dated U.S. Treasury indices. The Defined Outcome Bond ETFs™ are likely to be issued on a semi-annual frequency.

TFJL and TBJL will be part of Innovator’s category-creating Defined Outcome ETF™ family – the first group of ETFs designed to provide investors with built-in buffers against losses of -9% (“Buffer”), -15% (“Power Buffer”) or -30% (“Ultra Buffer”) and exposure to the growth of core equity markets, to a cap, in a tax-efficient vehicle over a one year outcome period. Innovator currently has 48 total Defined Outcome Buffer ETFs™ in the market with total assets under management (AUM) of almost $3.2 billion and $1.25 billion in inflows year-to-date3. In addition to being named “ETF Issuer of the Year – 2019” in the seventh annual Awards*, acknowledging the rapid advisor adoption and the positive potential impact on investor behavior of the Defined Outcome ETFs™, Innovator recently won “Newcomer Alternative ETF of the Year” and was “Highly Commended” for “ETF Suite of the Year” at the Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards 2020 by Fund Intelligence** in July.

Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs - Benefits to Advisors

  • Pioneer and creator of Defined Outcome ETFs™ with 48 ETFs and nearly $3.2 billion in AUM across family4
  • Tax-efficient exposure to five broad benchmark equity indexes (S&P 500, NASDAQ 100, Russell 2000, MSCI EAFE, MSCI EM), and soon 20+ Year U.S. Treasuries
  • Monthly issuance on the S&P 500 with three buffer levels (9,15, or 30%)
  • Only sponsor with a track record of completed Outcome Periods5

Innovator's Defined Outcome ETFs are the subject of a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Funds have characteristics unlike many other traditional investment products and may not be suitable for all investors. For more information regarding whether an investment in the Fund is right for you, please see “Investor Suitability” in the prospectus.

About Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs
Defined Outcome ETFs™ are the world’s first ETFs that seek to provide investors the upside performance of broadly recognized benchmarks (e.g., S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, Russell 2000, MSCI EAFE, and MSCI Emerging Markets, as well as the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT)) to a cap, with built-in buffers, over an outcome period of one year. The ETFs reset annually and can be held indefinitely.

Each Buffer ETF™ in Innovator’s Defined Outcome ETF™ suite seeks to provide a defined exposure to a broad market index where the downside buffer level, upside growth potential to a cap, and Outcome Period are all known, prior to investing. In 2019, Innovator began expanding its suite of S&P 500 Buffer ETFs™ into a monthly series to provide investors more opportunities to purchase shares as close to the beginning of their respective Outcome Periods as possible.

Investors can purchase shares of a previously listed Defined Outcome ETF™ throughout the entire Outcome Period, obtaining a current set of defined outcome parameters, which are disclosed daily through a web tool available at:

Innovator is focused on delivering defined outcome-based solutions inside the benefit-rich ETF wrapper, retaining many of the features that have contributed to the success of structured products6 (e.g., downside buffer levels, upside participation, defined outcome parameters), but with the added benefits of transparency, liquidity, the elimination of credit risk and lower costs afforded by the ETF structure.

About Innovator Capital Management, LLC
Awarded's "ETF Issuer of the Year - 2019", Innovator Capital Management LLC (Innovator) is an SEC-registered investment advisor (RIA) based in Wheaton, IL. Formed in 2014, the firm is currently headed by ETF visionaries Bruce Bond and John Southard, founders of one of the largest ETF providers in the world. Bond and Southard reentered the asset management industry to bring to market first-of-their-kind investment opportunities, including the Defined Outcome ETFs, products that they felt would change the investing landscape and bring more certainty to the financial planning process. The category-creating Defined Outcome ETFs seek to provide investors structured exposures to broad markets, where the upside growth potential, buffer against the downside, and outcome period are all known, prior to investing. Having launched the first Defined Outcome ETFs in 2018 -- the flagship Innovator S&P 500 Buffer ETF Suite -- Innovator has listed ETFs on other key exposures, allowing advisors to construct diversified portfolios with built-in buffers for better risk management. Built on a foundation of innovation and driven by a commitment to help investors better control their financial outcomes, Innovator is leading the Defined Outcome ETF Revolution. For additional information, visit

About Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Cboe Global Markets (Cboe: CBOE) is one of the world’s largest exchange-holding companies, offering cutting-edge trading and investment solutions to investors around the world. For more information, visit

About Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC
Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC (Milliman FRM) is a global leader in financial risk management to the retirement industry, providing investment advisory, hedging, and consulting services on over $143 billion in global assets as of June 30, 2020. Milliman FRM is one of the largest and fastest-growing subadvisors of ETFs. For more information about Milliman FRM, visit

Media Contact
Paul Damon
+1 (802) 999-5526

Interim Period Shareholders

Unlike structured notes, which offer limited liquidity, Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs™ trade throughout the day on an exchange, like a stock. As a result, investors purchasing shares of a Fund after its launch date may achieve a different payoff profile than those who entered the Fund on day one. Innovator recognizes this as a benefit of the Funds and provides a web-based tool that allows investors to know, in real-time throughout the trading day, their potential defined outcome return profile before they invest, based on the current ETF price and the Outcome Period remaining. Innovator’s web tool can be accessed at

Although each Fund seeks to achieve the defined outcomes stated in its investment objective, there is no guarantee that it will do so. The returns that the Funds seek to provide do not include the costs associated with purchasing shares of the Fund and certain expenses incurred by the Fund.

Investing involves risks. Loss of principal is possible. The Funds face numerous market trading risks, including active markets risk, authorized participation concentration risk, buffered loss risk, cap change risk, capped upside return risk, correlation risk, liquidity risk, management risk, market maker risk, market risk, non-diversification risk, operation risk, options risk, trading issues risk, upside participation risk and valuation risk. For a detail list of fund risks see the prospectus.

Market Disruptions Resulting from COVID-19. The outbreak of COVID-19 has negatively affected the worldwide economy, individual countries, individual companies and the market in general. The future impact of COVID-19 is currently unknown, and it may exacerbate other risks that apply to the Fund.

Foreign and Emerging Markets Risk Non-U.S. securities and Emerging Markets are subject to higher volatility than securities of domestic issuers due to possible adverse political, social or economic developments, restrictions on foreign investment or exchange of securities, lack of liquidity, currency exchange rates, excessive taxation, government seizure of assets, different legal or accounting standards, and less government supervision and regulation of securities exchanges in foreign countries.

Technology Sector Risk Companies in the technology sector are often smaller and can be characterized by relatively higher volatility in price performance when compared to other economic sectors. They can face intense competition, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins.

Small-Cap Risk Small-cap companies may be more volatile and susceptible to adverse developments than their mid- and large-cap counterpart. In addition, the small-cap companies may be less liquid than larger companies.

FLEX Options Risk The Fund will utilize FLEX Options issued and guaranteed for settlement by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, the Fund could suffer significant losses. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than standard options. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, the Fund may have difficulty closing out certain FLEX Options positions at desired times and prices. The values of FLEX Options do not increase or decrease at the same rate as the reference asset and may vary due to factors other than the price of reference asset.

These Funds are designed to provide point-to-point exposure to the price return of the Index via a basket of Flex Options. As a result, the ETFs are not expected to move directly in line with the Index during the interim period.

Investors purchasing shares after an outcome period has begun may experience very different results than funds' investment objective. Initial outcome periods are approximately 1-year beginning on the funds' inception date. Following the initial outcome period, each subsequent outcome period will begin on the first day of the month the fund was incepted. After the conclusion of an outcome period, another will begin.

Fund shareholders are subject to an upside return cap (the "Cap") that represents the maximum percentage return an investor can achieve from an investment in the funds' for the Outcome Period, before fees and expenses. If the Outcome Period has begun and the Fund has increased in value to a level near to the Cap, an investor purchasing at that price has little or no ability to achieve gains but remains vulnerable to downside risks. Additionally, the Cap may rise or fall from one Outcome Period to the next. The Cap, and the Fund's position relative to it, should be considered before investing in the Fund. The Funds' website,, provides important Fund information as well information relating to the potential outcomes of an investment in a Fund on a daily basis.

The Funds only seek to provide shareholders that hold shares for the entire Outcome Period with their respective buffer level against Index losses during the Outcome Period. You will bear all Index losses exceeding 9, 15 or 30%. Depending upon market conditions at the time of purchase, a shareholder that purchases shares after the Outcome Period has begun may also lose their entire investment. For instance, if the Outcome Period has begun and the Fund has decreased in value beyond the pre-determined buffer, an investor purchasing shares at that price may not benefit from the buffer. Similarly, if the Outcome Period has begun and the Fund has increased in value, an investor purchasing shares at that price may not benefit from the buffer until the Fund's value has decreased to its value at the commencement of the Outcome Period.

Nasdaq® is a registered trademark of Nasdaq, Inc. (which with its affiliates is referred to as the "Corporations") and is licensed for use by Innovator Capital Management, LLC. The Product(s) have not been passed on by the Corporations as to their legality or suitability. The Product(s) are not issued, endorsed, sold, or promoted by the Corporations.


The Innovator Russell 2000 Power Buffer ETF (the “Fund”) has been developed solely by Innovator Capital Management, LLC. The “Fund” is not in any way connected to or sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the London Stock Exchange Group plc and its group undertakings (collectively, the “LSE Group”). FTSE Russell is a trading name of certain of the LSE Group companies. All rights in the Russell 2000 Index (the “Index”) vest in the relevant LSE Group company, which owns the Index. “FTSE®” “Russell®”, and “FTSE Russell®” are trade marks of the relevant LSE Group company and are used by any other LSE Group company under license.

The Index is calculated by or on behalf of FTSE International Limited or its affiliate, agent or partner. The LSE Group does not accept any liability whatsoever to any person arising out of (a) the use of, reliance on or any error in the Index or (b) investment in or operation of the Fund. The LSE Group makes no claim, prediction, warranty or representation either as to the results to be obtained from the Fund or the suitability of the Index for the purpose to which it is being put by Innovator Capital Management, LLC.

The ETFs referred to herein is not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by MSCI Inc. or based upon the MSCI EAFE and MSCI Emerging Markets Indexes. MSCI Inc. bears no liability with respect to the ETFs.

MSCI, MSCI EAFE, and MSCI Emerging Markets are trademarks or service marks of MSCI Inc. or its affiliates (“Marks”) and are used hereto subject to license from MSCI. All goodwill and use of Marks inures to the benefit of MSCI and its affiliates. No other use of the Marks is permitted without a license from MSCI.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc., and its affiliates do not recommend or make any representation as to possible Benefits from any securities, futures or investments, or third-party products or services. Cboe Global Markets, Inc., is not affiliated with S&P DJI, Milliman, or Innovator Capital Management. Investors should undertake their own due diligence regarding their securities, futures and investment practices.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc., and its affiliates make no warranty, expressed or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties as of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, accuracy, completeness or timeliness, or as to the results to be obtained by recipients of the products.

*’s editorial team chose the finalists and then the Awards Selection Committee, an independent panel comprised of fifteen of the ETF industry’s leading analysts, consultants and investors, decided the winners.

** The shortlists and winners are comprised of individuals and firms who have submitted entries or been nominated via the online submission process, as well as through recommendations from leading market participants. Judges will judge the ETF categories and will use the submitted application material, as well as any uploaded supplemental information, to determine which firm, individual or product they believe to be the most suitable and deserving winners for each category.

Innovator ETFsTM, Defined Outcome ETFTM, Buffer ETFTM, Enhanced ETFTM, Define Your FutureTM, Leading the Defined Outcome ETF RevolutionTM and other service marks and trademarks related to these marks are the exclusive property of Innovator Capital Management, LLC.



The Funds' investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses should be considered before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information, and it may be obtained at Read it carefully before investing.

Innovator ETFs are distributed by Foreside Fund Services, LLC.

Copyright © 2020 Innovator Capital Management, LLC.


1Duration is a measure of interest rate risk, how much the prices of bonds are likely to shift if interest rates change.

2 Based on the ICE BofA US Corporate & Government Index and the ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index as of 8.12.2020.

3 AUM and flows are through 8.12.2020.

4 AUM in all Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs™ as of 8.12.2020.

5 Innovator Capital Management, LLC is the only issuer that has Defined Outcome ETFs™ available that have completed a one-year Outcome Period, with seven S&P 500 monthly series resets to date and one for the MSCI EAFE Power Buffer ETF™ and MSCI Emerging Markets Power Buffer ETF™ suites.

6 Structured notes and structured annuities are financial instruments designed and created to afford investors exposure to an underlying asset through a derivative contract. It is important to note that these ETFs are not structured notes or structured annuities.