Whether you attribute the bounce in airlines to a downtrodden industry that was poised for a rebound or a reopening economy that’s ready to start taking to the skies for business or pleasure again, not many would fathom that millennials would be responsible for the recent rally in the US Global Jets ETF (JETS ).
JETS seeks to track the performance of the U.S. Global Jets Index, which is composed of the exchange-listed common stock (or depository receipts) of U.S. and international passenger airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports, and terminal services companies across the globe. Airlines have certainly been feeling the pangs of the pandemic given the travel restrictions imposed globally.
However, as global economies start to ease lockdown measures, JETS is starting to take off. While the fund is down 35% year-to-date (per Yahoo Finance performance numbers), JETS fell $12 in mid-May before taking flight to $21.94 to start Monday’s trading session—a jump of over 80%.
Per a recent Fortune article, JETS’ “growth has been staggering: The ETF held just $33 million in early March as the coronavirus pandemic grounded global air travel. The fund’s top holdings are the four major U.S. airlines, though it said last week that it will begin investing in Canadian carriers as well.”
So what’s been the driving force behind this serendipitous growth? While the dead cat bounce and a value-tilted opportunity in airlines are both plausible reasons, one reason the capital markets may not have predicted is the influence of millennials.
“All these millennials, being stuck at home with no bars to go to and no beaches to travel to, took their money and became day traders,” said Frank Holmes, chief executive officer of JETS issuer U.S. Global Investors, in a Fortune interview. “They’re bored, they want to make money.”
And make money they certainly can with popular investing apps like Robinhood. The online brokerage platform has been the go-to app for millennial investors looking to get a piece of the market action in these interesting times.
Savvy ETF investors sensing an opportunity could consider the Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (MILN ). MILN seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Indxx Millennials Thematic Index.
In the case of MILN, the underlying index is designed to measure the performance of U.S. listed companies that provide exposure to the millennial generation, (collectively, “Millennial Companies”), as defined by the index provider. The millennial generation refers to the demographic in the U.S. with birth years ranging from 1980 to 2000.