One of the nifty and perhaps overlooked elements of disruptive technologies is that these concepts often don’t function alone. Many are intertwined with one another.
The ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC ) is an example of an exchange traded fund that presents investors with a robust menu of disruptive themes, plenty of which have relationships with each other.
DTEC provides exposure to 10 innovative themes. Those are as follows: 3D printing, clean energy/smart grid, cloud computing, data and analytics, fintech, healthcare innovation, internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity, robotics and artificial intelligence, and mobile payments. The DTEC methodology is increasingly relevant at a time when more investors are waking up to the utility of multi-pronged approaches to thematic investing and the merits of themes that rely on other themes.
“For example, automation, 3D printing, and robotics are considered disruptors of traditional manufacturing processes, while digital payment services and blockchain technology are disrupting financial services. While those examples are mostly commercial applications, consumers actually play a large role in the evolution of tech disruption, particularly through their use of mobile device,” notes Alerian analyst Roxanna Islam.
One way looking at the 3D printing/robotics example is through the lens of connectivity. In the realm of disruptive technologies, IoT — one of the themes represented in DTEC — is crucial when it comes to increasing and securing connectivity.
“The increased capacity from 5G service should allow greater machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, which is also referred to as IoT. (IoT consists of connectivity between mobile phones, smart watches, TVs, smart homes, and autonomous cars, in addition to commercial applications like RFID tags and automated manufacturing.),” adds Alerian’s Islam.
Importantly, DTEC’s components are equally weighted, which reduces single stock risk in a universe where some names display above-average volatility. Likewise, none of DTEC’s 10 themes dominate the fund as they range in weights from 8.44% to 10.74%. Bottom line: DTEC could be beneficial to investors looking to go beyond basic beta exposures while tapping into legitimate next generation growth.
“Technology disruptors have been changing the economic landscape as they introduce new products and services, fuel competition, and revitalize growth in mature industries. Increased usage of mobile devices and internet is only one factor among many which drives disruptive trends like 5G, Internet of Things, and fintech,” concludes Islam.
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