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Should Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Sweta Killa
The tech titans have been roaring higher with most of them hitting new highs amid the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust scrutiny.

Looking for broad exposure to the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market? You should consider the Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/15/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $212.12 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Growth

Large cap companies usually have a market capitalization above $10 billion. They tend to be stable companies with predictable cash flows and are usually less volatile than mid and small cap companies.

Growth stocks have higher than average sales and earnings growth rates. While these are expected to grow faster than the broader market, they also have higher valuations. Additionally, growth stocks have a greater level of risk associated with them. Compared to value stocks, growth stocks are a safer bet in a strong bull market, but don't perform as strongly in almost all other financial environments.

Costs

Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.59%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.23%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Healthcare sector--about 18.50% of the portfolio. Financials and Information Technology round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc (BR) accounts for about 1.22% of total assets, followed by Total System Services Inc (TSS) and Constellation Brands Inc (STZ).

The top 10 holdings account for about 11.36% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

DEF seeks to match the performance of the Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index before fees and expenses. The Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index is comprised of approximately 100 stocks selected from the S&P 500 Index based on investment and other screening criteria. The companies selected have potentially superior risk-return profiles during periods of stock market weakness while still offering the potential for gains during periods of market strength.

The ETF has added roughly 13.33% so far this year and is up about 9.52% in the last one year (as of 06/03/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $41.71 and $51.57.

The ETF has a beta of 0.77 and standard deviation of 10.96% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 100 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

Invesco Defensive Equity ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, DEF is a sufficient option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Growth area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF has $41.87 B in assets, Invesco QQQ has $67.98 B. IWF has an expense ratio of 0.20% and QQQ charges 0.20%.

Bottom-Line

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF): ETF Research Reports
 
Constellation Brands Inc (STZ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF): ETF Research Reports
 
Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports
 
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Total System Services, Inc. (TSS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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