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2 Future-Focused ETFs For A Post-COVID World

By (Tezcan Gecgil/ )ETFsNov 05, 2020 04:54AM ET
2 Future-Focused ETFs For A Post-COVID World
By (Tezcan Gecgil/ )   |  Nov 05, 2020 04:54AM ET
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While COVID-19 has had a crushing impact on many businesses across the globe, it’s accelerated demand for others.

Even once a vaccine is secured and the need for lockdowns and social distancing ends, the world could be a very different place from before coronavirus struck.

With tech giants such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) already making remote work a permanent option, it's likely that many more companies will follow.

A study by Georgia State University research professor Naveen Donthu and BI Norwegian Business School marketing professor Anders Gustafsson says:

"Our lives, as humans in a modern society, seem to be more centered around convenience than around worrying about what might happen in the future. The guiding principle of our society seems to be efficiency and economic gain rather than safety... [O]nce we get through this pandemic, we will emerge in a very different world compared to the one before the outbreak."

When it comes to investing, Wall Street is always forward-looking. Here we'll look at exchange-traded funds on track to profit from a post-pandemic world:

ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF

  • Current Price: $39.06
  • 52-Week Range: $36.84 - $40.30
  • Expense Ratio: 0.45%

The ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (NYSE:ANEW), a new fund launched Oct. 16, provides exposure to businesses that could benefit from pandemic-related developments in personal and professional lives. Fund managers focus on four areas: Future of Work, Genomics & Telehealth, Digital Consumer, and Food Revolution. Each theme has about an equal (or 25%) weighting in the fund.

ANEW Weekly
ANEW Weekly

ANEW tracks the MSCI Global Transformational Changes Index. US-based businesses comprise around 77% of the fund. The rest are located in China, Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, among others.

In terms of sector allocation, health care and information technology lead (each over 25%), followed by communication services (19.49%) and materials (11.88%). ANEW has 143 companies, which means no company alone has a weighting large enough to make a significant difference in price.

Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and computer software provider Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) lead the list of businesses in the ETF's Future of Work group.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), a maker of robotic technologies for surgeries, and global medical device manufacturer Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) have the highest weighting in Genomics & Telehealth group.

Among the Digital Consumers, Japan-based Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY), a global heavyweight in the interactive entertainment industry, and China-based e-commerce platform and cloud services provider Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) currently hold the first two spots.

Finally, the world's largest producer of farm equipment Deere (NYSE:DE) and Swiss-based flavors and fragrances manufacturer Givaudan (OTC:GVDNY) lead in the Food Revolution group.

Since the fund began trading in mid-October it's down about 5%. Trailing P/E and P/B ratios stand at 33.17 and 5.63, respectively.

Although the young ETF does not have an extensive trading history, we like the diversity of companies and the fact that tech giants do not dominate ANEW. The margin of safety will improve for long-term investors if there is a further decline toward the $35 level.

A Contrarian ETF Pick

In the post-COVID world, some industries which are struggling now will likely see an upswing in demand. Those investors who would like to take a contrarian approach could consider the U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS), which provides access to the global airline industry, holding shares of airline operators and plane manufacturers. Since the start of the year, the fund is down 45%, with shares closing Wednesday at $17.19.

JETS Weekly Chart
JETS Weekly Chart

Most airlines are flying at limited capacity, and international air-travel is still quite limited. Many operators have seen revenue fall around 80% year-over-year.

Travel volumes are likely to take years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. Any long-term bet on the sector will likely require patience, but developments on the vaccine front could help the recovery process in air travel and shares of companies in the industry.

Bottom Line

2020 has been dominated by the widespread impact of COVID-19. In addition to the two ETFs which could benefit once the pandemic dust settles, diversification can add protection to any portfolio. Below are some more funds to consider:

  • Direxion Work From Home ETF (NYSE:WFH) — covered here;
  • Global X E-commerce ETF (NASDAQ:EBIZ) — covered here;
  • Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary ETF (NASDAQ:PSCD)
  • Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (NYSE:PEJ) — covered here;
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSE:VTI) — covered here.
2 Future-Focused ETFs For A Post-COVID World

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2 Future-Focused ETFs For A Post-COVID World

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