Thematic Strategies Are Down, but Not Out | ETF Trends

With growth stocks, particularly those of unprofitable technology companies, faltering mightily in the early portion of 2022, it’s easy for investors to overlook previously high-flying thematic strategies and exchange traded funds.

However, some market observers argue that when growth equities and the technology sector bounce back, it might not be mega-cap fare leading the rebound. Rather, it could be disruptive growth segments, and that could benefit ETFs like the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (CBOE: DTEC).

DTEC provides exposure to 10 equally weighted innovative themes, which could ideally position the fund for success when disruptive growth stocks snap out of their recent funk.

“Instead of relying on another period of mega-cap outperformance, investors should take a thematic approach, including foundational technologies such as AI, big data, and cybersecurity—the ABCs of tech,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, writes in a recent note to clients.

Artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cybersecurity are three of the 10 themes represented in DTEC. Data and analytics are DTEC’s largest industry weight at 10.1%, while cybersecurity and AI and robotics names combine for 17.65% of the fund’s roster.

Interestingly, Haefele recommends investors embrace names in those three segments over mega-cap tech as avenues for playing a growth rebound. He advises tapping into “high potential long-term growth” from AI, big data, and cybersecurity stocks to avoid being too heavily allocated to traditional mega-cap growth fare.

The UBS strategist is also constructive on the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

“The path to smart mobility will be enabled by a raft of tech innovators, including advanced chip and sensor makers, camera leaders, AI and cloud providers, and next-gen EV battery makers. We like select names across the global EV supply chain, as well as select global automakers with EV exposure,” notes Haefele.

Should bullish EV expectations be born out this year, that could be a positive for DTEC because Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is one of the fund’s components. Additionally, DTEC allocates 8.68% of its weight to clean energy and smart grid equities. No DTEC holding exceeds an allocation of 1.29%, so single stock risk is muted in this ETF.

Other technology funds to consider include the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLK) and the Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC).

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.