Investors should consider infrastructure sector-specific exchange traded funds after President Joe Biden laid out plans to upgrade aging U.S. infrastructure.
Biden plans to ask Congress this month to heavily invest in infrastructure projects as half of U.S. roads are in poor or mediocre condition and more than a third of U.S. bridges are in need of repair, replacement, or significant restoration, Reuters reports.
“We’re going to see what we can put together,” Biden said at an hour-long White House meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and other key senators. “There’s a lot we have to do…. We just have to step up.”
The White House stated that the administration’s is looking to build “sustainable infrastructure that will withstand the impacts of climate change and fuel an American clean energy revolution.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg previously said the U.S. government needs to rebuild the transportation sector in this post-pandemic environment.
Investors, though, may take this new call for infrastructure spending with a grain of salt as the previous Trump administration has also pushed for and failed to pass through a major bill to repair and replace aging and dangerous bridges, airports, water pipes, and other projects. Trump in 2018 laid out plans for an infrastructure plan for $200 billion over 10 years to attract $1.5 trillion in largely private sector infrastructure spending but Congress never got around to the vote. Trump also drafted a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan last year, but the administration never publicly released it.
The funding has been a major sticking point after Congress abandoned the use of fuel tax revenue to pay for infrastructure repairs.
Nevertheless, if the Biden administration and Congress can agree on infrastructure spending, investors can look to infrastructure sector-focused ETFs to capture growth. For example, the Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) tries to reflect the performance of the Indxx U.S. Infrastructure Development Index, which is comprised of companies focused on domestic infrastructure development, including those involved in construction and engineering; production of infrastructure raw materials, composites, and products; industrial transportation; and producers/distributors of heavy construction equipment.
One other fund to consider is the iShares U.S. Infrastructure ETF (Cboe: IFRA), which tracks the NYSE FactSet U.S. Infrastructure Index and provides access to two groups of infrastructure companies that are equally weighted: owners and operators, such as railroads and utilities, and enablers, such as materials and construction companies.
Lastly, the FlexShares STOXX Global Broad Infrastructure Index Fund (NYSEArca: NFRA) offers investors sound fundamentals and above-average dividend yields. NFRA tries to reflect the performance of the STOXX Global Broad Infrastructure Index, which identifies equities that derive the majority of revenue from infrastructure business, providing exposure to not only infrastructure sectors, but non-traditional ones as well.
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