The Rising Importance of Thematic ETF Investment Opportunities

For example, the Workplace Equality Portfolio (NYSEArca: EQLT) provides a socially responsible spin on companies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the workplace.

EQLT’s screening criteria include mandatory language in a company’s equal employment opportunity statement prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, offering health benefits to same-sex partners or spouses of employees, along with other corporate benefits and privileges. Other screens are performed with the goal of eliminating companies that would detract from the Index such as companies in bankruptcy or reorganization.

By adhering to the equality route, EQLT provides smaller stocks a louder voice in the performance, compared to traditional market-cap weighted investments. The greater tilt toward smaller companies can increase returns in a broad market rally, when small-caps tend to outperform, but it also brings added risks.

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