Innovator’s Defined Wealth Shield ETF (BALT) Wins Newcomer Alternative ETF of the Year at 2022 Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards, Hits One-Year Anniversary, Triples Shares Outstanding and AUM YTD

BALT’s conservative investment strategy negated the impact of domestic stock market drawdown in recent quarters (YTD), worst first half for large cap-equities since 19701

Flows and over 200% AUM growth YTD suggest BALT’s defensive equity strategy appeals to advisors amidst historic drawdown in bonds, stock bear market2

4th consecutive year Innovator has won the Newcomer Alternative ETF award category highlights breadth, effectiveness of Innovator’s Defined Outcome ETF lineup of solutions

CHICAGO, July 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovator Capital Management, LLC (Innovator, or Innovator ETFs) today announced that the pioneer of Defined Outcome ETFs™ won the Newcomer Alternative ETF of the Year award for the Innovator Defined Wealth Shield ETF (BALT) at the 29th annual Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards put on by With Intelligence in June. BALT seeks to provide investors with a conservative investment strategy that offers upside exposure to Large-Cap U.S. equities, to a cap, with a targeted buffer against the first 20% of quarterly losses in SPY (SPDR S&P 500 Trust) over each three-month period.

Additionally, BALT celebrated its one-year anniversary since its July 1st, 2021 inception, as well as the ETF’s fourth quarterly reset on June 30th. The period, especially year-to-date (YTD), has been marked by outperformance of its reference asset, SPY, as well as significant growth in shares outstanding (211% YTD) and a tripling of AUM from the $44 million the ETF started 2022 with to $134 million at present3. Since inception through June 30th, BALT generated a positive return despite SPY being down over -11%. This was due to the quarterly resetting nature of BALT’s risk managed investment strategy, which captured a portion of SPY’s positive return in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 while the buffer mechanism then negated the significant negative market returns of the first and second quarters of 2022.

“It has been quite the year for BALT, a great trial for this defensive equity-based strategy given the market volatility and the significant drawdowns for stocks in the year-to-date period. But not only are we in a bear market for stocks, bonds have been suffering this year, too, as rates have shot up due to historic inflation prints and the Fed’s hawkish pivot. In this environment where bonds have become correlated with stocks and advisors are looking for diversification, we believe BALT’s conservative, low volatility4 investment strategy – with its targeted 20% buffer against SPY losses each quarter and lack of interest rate and credit risk – can represent a potential strategy to preserve capital should stock markets continue to fall and rates rise further to combat inflation, but also allow investors to participate in some of the upside if stocks gain. It is an honor to win this award yet again, and we look forward to continuing to bring solutions that advisors may find compelling and worthy of their clients’ hard-earned assets,” said Bruce Bond, CEO of Innovator ETFs.

The table below shows BALT’s performance over the ETF’s first year and across each quarter, along with SPY and key bond benchmarks, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, the iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index, ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index and the ICE BofA US 3-Treasury Bill Index.

 12-Month ReturnYTD ReturnQ2 2022 ReturnQ1 2022 ReturnMax DrawdownVolatility (Standard Deviation)
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index-10.29%-10.35%-4.69%-5.93%-13.8%5.7%
iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index-16.16%-16.24%-8.61%-8.35%-19.6%8.2%
ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index-19.18%-21.93%-12.70%-10.57%-28.8%16.7%

Source: Bloomberg, as of June 30, 2022. Return for SPY is price return. All other returns are total returns. Performance quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment returns and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when shares are sold. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted. For standardized performance and the most recent month-end performance, visit One cannot invest in an index.

BALT performance highlights include:

  • BALT had a positive since inception return, managing against the -11.87% price loss in SPY over the 12-month period
  • Featured one fifth of the volatility of SPY since inception
  • BALT outperformed the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index by 9.8% since inception
  • Delivered 36% less volatility than the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index since inception
  • BALT outperformed the iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index by 16.6% since inception
  • Delivered 56% less volatility than the iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index since inception.
  • BALT outperformed the ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index by 19.6% since inception
  • BALT delivered 78% less volatility than the ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index since inception.

This was the fourth consecutive year that Innovator has won this award category, reflecting the sponsor’s continuous innovation and the buildout of its diversified range of Defined Outcome ETFs™ across Buffer ETFs™, Floor ETFs™ and Managed Outcome ETFs™. The awards were based on submissions covering activity during calendar year 2021. The finalists for the Newcomer Alternative ETF of the Year 2022 were AdvisorShares, ASYMmetric ETFs and AXS Investments.

Methodology of the Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards: This year’s categories and winners of the Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards were determined by an independent judging panel consisting of asset management veterans, each a subject matter expert in their respective field. Winners were chosen based on multiple factors that the independent panel assessed, including innovation, sales success, market impact and uniqueness of approach.

The full list of winners can be viewed here.

BALT: The Innovator Defined Wealth Shield ETF
BALT was launched July 1st, 2021 and reset for the fourth time at the end of the quarter, marking its one-year anniversary. With price declines in SPY in the past quarter, BALT again provided investors who have held shares since the beginning of the outcome period with outperformance relative to the benchmark for domestic Large-cap stocks.

Although the ETF targets a 20% buffer, it may fall into a range of 15-20%; there is no guarantee that the buffer will be within this range or that the Fund will provide the buffer.

Innovator’s research shows that for the 761 3-month rolling periods between 1958 and May 2021, with a 20% buffer, you would have been positive or neutral in 98.8% of those periods. In the periods exceeding 20%, the average loss was approximately 4%.

1 “Stock Markets Post Worst First Half of a Year in Over Five Decades”. The Wall Street Journal. July 1st, 2022.
2 As of June 30th, 2022, the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) was down -21.05% off its January record high on a price return basis. During Q2, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index experienced its largest YTD drawdown on record, falling -12.7% and leaving it -14.3% below its 2020 all-time high on a total return basis. Meanwhile, the ICE US Treasury 20+ Year Index lost -21.9% within the YTD period and was off -32.59% on a total return basis from its record high reached in 2020.
3 Through June 30th, 2022.
4 Volatility or Standard deviation measures the dispersion of a dataset relative to its mean.

Investing in BALT involves risk, and does not provide investment income. The BALT ETF seeks to provide a large buffer (15-20% on a quarterly basis) against loss, with a defined upside cap before fees and expenses, benchmarked to the price return of SPY. As a result, the fund does not provide investment income. A money market fund is a kind of mutual fund that invests in highly liquid, near-term instruments. These instruments include cash, cash equivalent securities, and high-credit-rating, debt-based securities with a short-term maturity (such as U.S. Treasuries).

An Important Note about Buffers and Bonds: BALT is a Buffer ETF and seeks to track the return of SPY, to a cap, while targeting a 20% buffer against losses over a quarterly outcome period. The strategy uses FLEX options to gain exposure. Buffer ETFs carry equity risk, which has historically been greater than bond risk. In order to produce a positive return, BALT needs equities to rise. If the equities fall more than the predetermined buffer, investors risk a loss.

Unlike bonds, Buffer ETFs cannot rise when equities fall. Unlike equities, bonds pay coupons and their returns are not directly tied to the equity market. The price of a bond does not need to increase for an investor to profit. In addition, the price of bonds are affected by supply and demand. As a result, bonds price have historically risen when equities have fallen as investors seek safety outside of equities. Bonds have maturity dates at which point principal must be repaid or a default occurs. Bonds are higher in the capital structure than equities and therefore carry significantly lower risk of loss.

In addition, Buffer ETFs do not provide income which is the typical investment objective of bond funds. The underlying options provide exposure to the price-return of their respective reference asset and therefore investors do not receive dividends or investment income through an investment in a Buffer ETF.

About Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs
Defined Outcome ETFs™ are the world’s first ETFs that seek to provide investors with known ranges of future investment outcomes prior to investing. These outcome ranges include multiple and single upside exposure, to a cap, with defined levels of downside risk with buffers and floors over a set amount of time. The Innovator Defined Outcome ETFs™ cover a large spectrum of domestic and international equities and bonds. Innovator’s category-creating Defined Outcome ETF™ family includes Buffer ETFs™, Stacker ETFs™ and Floor ETFs™. 

The Buffer ETFs™ seek to provide the upside performance of broadly recognized benchmarks (e.g., SPY, QQQ, IWM, EFA, and EEM, as well as 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 benchmark 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 U.S. Equity 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 products5 (e.g., downside buffer levels, upside participation, defined outcome parameters), but with the added benefits of transparency, liquidity, the elimination of credit risk6 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 2017, the firm is 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 the Defined Outcome ETFs™, first-of-their-kind investment products that they felt would change the investing landscape and bring more certainty to the financial planning process. Innovator’s category-creating Defined Outcome ETF™ family includes Buffer ETFs™, Floor ETFs, Accelerated ETFs™ and Managed Outcome ETFs™. Since the 2018 launch of their flagship Innovator U.S. Equity Buffer ETF™ suite, Innovator’s solutions have helped advisors construct portfolios and manage risk to fit their client’s unique financial needs. 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

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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 Funds is right for you, please see "Investor Suitability" in the prospectus.

Innovator ETFs™, Defined Outcome ETF™, Buffer ETF™, Accelerated ETF™, Enhanced ETF™, Stacker ETF™, Define Your Future™, Leading the Defined Outcome ETF Revolution™ and other service marks and trademarks related to these marks are the exclusive property of Innovator Capital Management, LLC.

There is no guarantee the funds will achieve their investment objective.

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.

5 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.

6 Defined Outcome ETFs are not backed by the faith and credit of an Issuing institution, so they are not exposed to credit risk.

The Fund only seek to provide shareholders that hold shares for the entire Outcome Period with their respective buffer level against reference asset losses during the Outcome Period. You will bear all reference asset losses exceeding the buffer. 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.

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' 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.

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