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Gettin' Jiggy With The Gig Economy ETF

Gettin' Jiggy With The Gig Economy ETF

Some gig economy companies are under immense political pressure, but that hasn't stopped the lone exchange-traded fund dedicated to gig economy equities from posting impressive results.

What Happened: The SoFi Gig Economy ETF (NASDAQ: GIGE), which debuted in May 2019, has more than doubled off its March lows. To be precise, GIGE is higher by 102.58% since March 16.

“GIGE is in the top 30 of best-performing equity ETFs in the U.S. this year (out of 1,482, not including leveraged funds),” according to a statement issued by SoFi.

Why It's Important: When most investors think of gig economy stocks, they think of ride-hailing giants Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) and Uber (NYSE: UBER). Fortunately, GIGE isn't weighted as a reflection of consumers' or investors' view on gig work.

“Fortunately” because Lyft and Uber are under duress in their home state of California. Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a bill signed into law last September, classifies rideshare drivers as full-time employees of companies like Lyft and Uber. Predictably, the companies don't like it because they contend the classification of drivers as full-time staff harms their business model.

The companies' future in the Golden State is tenuous, but that's unlikely to derail GIGE because none of the fund's 61 holdings exceed weights of 3.45% and neither Lyft nor Uber is among the ETF's top 10 components.

That's a benefit of GIGE being actively managed. Another is the fund can tilt toward high growth areas that are secondary parts of the gig ecosystem. For example, the fund has a modest fintech feel with PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square (NYSE: SQ) among its top five holdings.

What's Next: Beyond pure gig work, GIGE is levered to other compelling themes, including fintech, e-commerce and work from home. That could set the stage for more growth for the thematic fund regardless of what becomes of Lyft and Uber in California.

"In today's world, it's not just work-from-home, it's also work-from-anywhere, and the technology companies behind this revolutionary shift are some of the few bright spots in this economy," said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. "GIGE has been able to capture these new trends and provide investors with diversified exposure to this exciting theme."

Communication services is GIGE's largest sector exposure at 60.6% while consumer discretionary and technology stocks combine for almost a third of the ETF's roster.

Disclosure: The author owns shares of Square.


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