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5 ETFs to Ride the Popular Trends Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Sweta Jaiswal, FRM
·5 mins read

Investors seem to be spooked by the resurgence in coronavirus cases as they fear that another round of business restrictions and lockdown measures might derail the economic recovery achieved so far. According to a CNN report, the United States is close to recording 8 million coronavirus cases while it is witnessing more than 50,000 daily new infections, on average. Moreover, cases have started to reportedly surge in Europe as well, with night-time curfews to be imposed in some French cities starting Saturday along with stricter restrictions in London.

Notably, the outbreak has caused an unprecedented collapse of economic activities as governments had to shut down commerce and implement social-distancing measures in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Although necessary to control the outbreak, the halting or rolling back of the reopening process may hurt investor sentiments and optimism about economic recovery in the near term.

Meanwhile, making the situation worse, major players in the race to develop coronavirus vaccine and antibodies development have announced the pausing of trials. Given the situation, it looks like another round of stimulus will be absolutely necessary to help the economy amid this health crisis. Moving ahead, this election year could turn out to be the worst, with the coronavirus pandemic intensifying by the day.

Keeping the current scenario in mind, let’s discuss ETFs that can be a good addition to investors’ portfolio for better returns amid the coronavirus crisis:

Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY

Strikingly, even as the rebooting of the U.S. economy happens in phases and social-distancing restrictions get relaxed, people are increasingly opting for contactless operations. In fact, U.S. online sales rose 42% year over year in August, according to the latest Adobe Analytics data. Since March, Adobe attributes the pandemic to an extra $107 billion spent online. Also, per Salesforce, digital revenues are expected at $221 billion, whereas total holiday sales are estimated to hit $730 billion in the November-December period, as reported in a Digital Commerce 360 article.

The fund seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price performance of the EQM Online Retail Index. The fund has an expense ratio of 65 basis points (bps) (read: ETF Areas That Remained Strong in the First 9 Months of 2020).

iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ICLN

The space has been hitting the headlines these days for several reasons. Increasingly, big corporations are making or promising investments in pursuit of achieving the most-coveted carbon neutral status. Also, the green energy space has been a hot topic of discussion in the ongoing U.S. election campaign. Democratic presidential candidate Biden has been strongly campaigning for his clean energy and infrastructural plans. He aims to pump $2 trillion into green energy over four years to build solar panels and charging stations, among others.

The fund seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of global equities in the clean energy sector. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.46% (read: ETF Areas to Ride the Thematic Investing Trend in Q4).

Vanguard Information Technology ETF VGT

The technology sector has remained relatively strong amid the coronavirus crisis, with big-tech companies showing resilience to the pandemic, which in turn, significantly supported the market momentum this year. Highlighting the instrumental role that technology is playing with respect to helping people maintain social-distancing norms, The NPD Group’s Future of Tech report forecasts historic technology sales growth of 18% year over year in comparison to the year-ago period’s 4% rise in fourth-quarter 2020. Also, e-commerce is expected to represent more than 60% of technology sales in the same period.

The fund seeks to track the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index. It charges investors 10 bps in annual fees (read: ETFs to Gain on Apple's New 5G iPhones, Analysts Optimism).

ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF IPAY

In line with the surging online shopping trend, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear their bills, while merchants and utility providers are increasingly advocating the same. Per Statista, total transaction value in the Digital Payments segment should see 15.3% year-over-year growth in 2020 on a 5.4% rise in user count.

The underlying Prime Mobile Payments Index provides a benchmark for investors interested in tracking the mobile and electronic payments industry, specifically focusing on credit card networks, payment infrastructure and software services, payment processing services and payment solutions. The fund charges 75 bps in fees (read: Bet on These ETFs to Gain From Coronavirus-Shaped "New Normal").

Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF BOTZ

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the robotics market is flooded with opportunities as robots are being used for jobs such as sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces along with monitoring, surveying, handling, and delivering food and medicines. The current conditions seem favorable for the robotic markets in government applications, such as health, security and defense. Also, with the reopening of the U.S. economy, it is believed that robots will see increased usage in industrial, manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, inspection and maintenance, automotive, electronics, and food and beverage areas. 

This ETF seeks to invest in companies that potentially stand to benefit from increased adoption and utilization of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), including those involved with industrial robotics and automation, non-industrial robots, and autonomous vehicles. It charges 68 basis points in annual fees (read: Nvidia's Buyout of Designer Arm Put These ETFs in Focus).

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iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN): ETF Research Reports
 
Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): ETF Research Reports
 
Global X Robotics Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ): ETF Research Reports
 
ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF (IPAY): ETF Research Reports
 
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