Market Overview

A Disruptive Tech ETF Debuts

A Disruptive Tech ETF Debuts

Technology was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 last year. Some of that ebullience was due to investors' expectations surrounding new, disruptive technologies — an idea that's accessible via several exchange traded funds, including the newly minted ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (CBOE: DTEC).

DTEC debuted on Dec. 29, the last trading day of 2017. ALPS' latest ETF tracks the Indxx Disruptive Technologies Index. The new ETF is a thematic fund. Some thematic ETFs have been met with criticism over the years, but others have delivered returns in excess of traditional sector funds.

“Thematic investing aims to capture exposure to secular trends taking shape within an economy, which can arise due to demographic shifts, changes in government policy, or more commonly, advances in technology,” said ALPS. “Disruptive technologies are impacting our day-to-day lives dramatically and are forcing industries to change the way they do business. Those companies that are at the forefront of innovation, and leading the disruption of the status quo, may provide significant growth opportunities for investors.” 

Ten Themes

DTEC, which equally weights its 100 components, features exposure to 10 disruptive themes. The group includes health care innovation, Internet of Things, fintech, cloud computing, cybersecurity and 3-D printing.

“The majority of innovation in health care has been centered on the development of new diagnostic procedures, therapies, drugs, or medical devices,” said ALPS. “These advances range from new pharmaceutical agents and procedures (e.g. stents) to more precise diagnostic scanners and surgical robots.”

Theme weights in DTEC range from about 9.7 percent to around 10.5 percent.

Index Criteria

Companies that generate more than 50 percent of their revenue from these sub-themes are eligible for inclusion in the Index, with Indxx selecting the 10 largest by market cap from each sub-theme to form the final index,” according to a statement.

DTEC charges 0.5 percent per year, or $50 on a $10,000 investment. Familiar names in the ETF include Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP).

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