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ProShares Trust - ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (ANEW)

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  • 15 Best Innovative Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds
    Insider Monkey

    15 Best Innovative Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds

    In this article we will share our list of the 15 best innovative stocks to buy now. Click to skip ahead and see the 5 Best Innovative Stocks To Buy Now. We are on the cusp of huge transformational changes that will fundamentally change the way we work, the way we live and take care […]

  • InvestorPlace

    The InvestorPlace Q&A: Embrace the Food Revolution With the ANEW ETF

    This is part of a four-part series exploring the four facets of the ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (NYSEARCA:ANEW) ETF: The Future of Work, Genomics and Telehealth, the Digital Consumer and the Food Revolution. Click on other themes where linked to read other installments. Food is one of the most basic, and most vital, things in the world. We all need it, and as concerns about both the health of our planet and the health of what we eat rise, so does worldwide focus on the companies creating our meals. The ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (NYSEARCA:ANEW) is an exchange-traded fund with holdings that focus on the food revolution alongside three other future-looking themes detailed above. As shared in ProShares information on the fund:InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips “According to a 2019 report by AgFunds, global investment in agriculture-related technology reached $16.9 billion in 2018, up 43% from 2017. Revenue from food innovations is also projected to grow from $135 billion in 2018 to $700 billion by 2030, a 15% compound annual growth rate. Leading the way, a 2019 UBS report forecast the plant-based protein segment to grow 28% annually over this period.” Plant-based protein is a topic of conversation not just in investing circles, but in social ones as well. Part of the appeal is the sustainability of such foods — it takes more resources to create a pound of beef than a pound of most plant-based foods. 7 of the Best Dividend Aristocrats on the Market But the nature and method of creation for our food is not the only area ANEW looks at. There’s also the future of how that food gets to the consumer. Grocery delivery has gotten a boost from stay-at-home orders in 2020, but the space is expected to grow regardless. The fund charges an 0.45% expense ratio, or $45 per $10,000 invested annually. I had a chance to discuss the ANEW ETF with Scott Helfstein, Executive Director of Thematic Investing for ProShares, and talk about how ANEW is helping you invest in these changing food trends. InvestorPlace: As investors become more socially conscious, sustainable and responsible farming is getting more and more in the forefront. What companies are helping farmers make the transition? How did the trade war with China impact this sector? Scott Helfstein, executive director of Thematic Investing for ProShares: There are a number of fascinating innovations taking hold in the food industry, which is not an area people generally associate with high tech, but in which we desperately need greater efficiency. Currently, 51% of the habitable land on the planet is dedicated to food production and we will have 2 billion more people to feed by 2050, according to UN projections. Sustainable practices like using smaller autonomous tractors that put less burden on the land, artificial intelligence algorithms to minimize water use and maximize yield, or drones that identify crop regions being impacted by blight to target pesticide use are becoming more commonplace. Deere (NYSE:DE) is one of the companies that likely helps drive automation and efficiency. The trade war with China hit the U.S. farm and food production sector as exports of soybeans dried up. Then Covid-19 impacted the meat packing supply chain. These events are a double-edged sword. Many producers might not have the capital to invest following these exogenous events, but it is also more important to manage costs and produce efficiently. InvestorPlace: Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) has been the face of the plant-based meat movement, but they are far from the only player. What are some of the other interesting names in the space that readers should know? ProShares: Beyond Meat is certainly the standout, especially with many competing plant-based products coming from large and diversified food companies and conglomerates. In 2019, only 14% of Americans had tried plant-based meat substitutes, but 42% had plant-based milk products in the fridge. That suggests we are still early in adoption and there will ultimately be a number of players competing. Food-science and ingredient innovations are essential but less-spoken-of components in the growth of the plant-based meat industry. Products have to taste good with flavor and fragrance as important elements. Established food-science company Kerry Group (OTCMKTS:KRYAY), for example, provides a portfolio of taste, scent, and texture solutions developed for use in plant-based meat products. InvestorPlace: As the ProShares’ data on the ANEW ETF says, “According to a 2019 report by AgFunds, global investment in agriculture-related technology reached $16.9 billion in 2018, up 43% from 2017.” What companies are at the forefront, innovating technology and processes to help feed the world? ProShares: There is investment and innovation going on across the industry from automation to genetically engineered products. McCormick (NYSE:MCK), known for flavoring and spices, partnered with IBM (NYSE:IBM)last year to use Watson and artificial intelligence in flavor development. We do not normally think about AI in the food industry, but advanced analysis will play an increasingly important role. Corteva (NYSE:CTVA), which was spun off from DuPont (NYSE:DD), is the largest seed company in the world. The product portfolio includes genetically modified seeds and advanced chemical compounds, but they also support clients with data analysis services. InvestorPlace: The rise of food delivery didn’t start in 2020, but the Covid-19 shutdowns and stay-at-home orders certainly accelerated it. How much of this change will remain once the pandemic is in the rearview mirror? ProShares: As restaurants slowly reopen in coming months following the vaccine rollout, we would expect demand for food delivery to decline, but we also believe that the pandemic has changed the way many people get food. For example, online purchasing of food and beverage increased 221% in the second quarter of 2020 and 162% in the third quarter. Most Americans had not ordered food online before the pandemic, but the majority indicate they are satisfied. Food delivery will be an important segment in the growing experience-on-demand trend. The rise of so-called “ghost kitchens,” massive food preparation facilities with no actual restaurants are likely here to stay as companies invest in building this capability. Companies will not be keen on shutting those facilities after making large investments and realizing tremendous efficiencies. Some traditional fast food companies have invested significantly to build delivery and takeout capabilities in recent years. InvestorPlace: One problem in the agriculture world that many people never even think about is zoonotic diseases, or diseases that can pass from animals to people. What are some of the ways companies in this fund are helping reduce or prevent transmission of such diseases? ProShares: As a front-of-mind standout, Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is developing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine which just began phase 3 trials in the US. Some early signs from testing in primates shows that the treatment may keep people from passing the virus to others. Novavax also has an Ebola vaccine in phase 1 trials and both SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccines in pre-clinical development. Further away from the headlines, consider Neogen (NASDAQ:NEOG), which produces a comprehensive array of technology products and services to promote food safety, including zoonotic disease prevention, across food supply chains. For example, NEOGEN has a suite of diagnostic products for diseases such as Swine Influenza Virus. InvestorPlace: What are some of the other interesting companies in ANEW that particularly service this Food Revolution aspect of the fund, and why should investors be excited about them? ProShares: Customer preferences are changing with an increasing emphasis on healthy snacks and organic foods. Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) is one example of an innovator in the healthy snack space. While known for tea, that only represents 5% of revenue. So, this a food company, but also a life-style play. Scott’s Miracle Gro (NYSE:SMG) is another interesting name as people are increasingly growing food at home and there are few scale players in the retail garden market. The U.S. Census Bureau recorded 8.6% growth in nursery and gardening sales in June 2020 during COVID-19 compared to another home category like furniture that was down 35.7%. Whether eating healthy, growing food at home, adding plant-protein, customer behavior and consumption patterns are changing. ANEW’s focus on food revolution is intended to keep investors at the forefront of these changes. On the date of publication, Jessica Loder did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. In The InvestorPlace Q&A, we invite a manager to speak directly to Main Street investors, whether discussing their firm’s technologies, strategies or investments for the year ahead. Our goal is to put the spotlight on fund managers and other institutional investors of note, providing a detailed look into their management styles, world views and investing strategies. Read past interviews here. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post The InvestorPlace Q&A: Embrace the Food Revolution With the ANEW ETF appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • ProShares Transformational Changes ETF: Invest in Innovation With ANEW

    ProShares Transformational Changes ETF: Invest in Innovation With ANEW

    The novel coronavirus has upended society in ways big and small.  The future of work is changing, our healthcare needs are evolving, and the ways we interact with entertainment are quickly shifting. Aside from Covid-19 accelerating these changes, the one common attribute among them is that they each hold huge investment opportunities. Which is why ProShares has launched its Transformational Changes ETF (NYSEARCA:ANEW). Source: Shutterstock The ANEW ETF, which made its debut on the markets last week, tracks the MSCI Global Transformational Changes Index. It is chockful of investments in spaces including: cloud computing, IoT, bioinformatics, gene editing, esports, social media, and plant-based foods. I had a chance to discuss the ANEW ETF with Scott Helfstein, ProShares Executive Director of Thematic Investing, about the opportunity ANEW offers investors.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips John Kilhefner, Managing Editor, InvestorPlace: How does the Transformational Changes ETF fit within ProShares’ broader universe of exchange-traded funds? Scott Helfstein, Executive Director of Thematic Investing, ProShares: ANEW is the latest addition to ProShares thematic lineup, which includes funds like ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSEARCA:PAWZ) in pet care and ProShares Online Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:ONLN) in retail disruption, both of which have had strong years in 2020. Like the existing thematic funds, the emphasis is on powerful macro-level trends that ultimately filter down to individual companies. This fund focuses on transformational changes already underway but accelerated by Covid-19: future of work, genomics & telehealth, digital consumer, and food revolution. InvestorPlace: As the global automation market surges, what is your expected timeline for organizational and industrial transformation? ProShares: Most people hear doom and gloom stories about automation such as “a robot is coming for your job”. While there will be dislocation in some industries, the bigger global challenge is the looming worker shortage in the four largest economies. The U.S., Europe, Japan and China will have fewer workers as their populations age. According UN demographic forecasts, that deficit could reach 125 million by 2040. If one robot can do the work of four people, we will need 31 million industrial and commercial robots. Today there are about 3 million in use, so that would be a 12% annual increase. This is probably a multi-decade transition, but already well underway. InvestorPlace: In what ways will technological transformations such as AI affect the nature of work and the consumer experience? ProShares: Software such as artificial intelligence, computer learning and big data analysis is a key component in automation. Unfortunately, movies have clouded perceptions of artificial intelligence as an all-knowing computer bent on destroying humans. Most AI is focused on very simple and practical tasks. AI helps power the recommendation engine in your streaming service and makes it possible for people to virtually try on clothes or makeup without leaving home. For the first time, we can automate cognitive tasks that were simply not possible before. That said, much of the technology is not about replacing but augmenting human efforts. AI can supply better data analysis or handle the simple inquiries, freeing up people to solve more complicated problems. We will ultimately be working alongside AI systems. InvestorPlace: Where do you believe the major opportunities are in healthcare innovation right now? ProShares: Telehealth is getting a lot of attention now. The technology has been available for years, but adoption was slow as people were hesitant, government policy was not amenable, and insurance was not necessarily supportive. The pandemic has removed many of those impediments and the number of Americans using telehealth services tripled in 2020 to 32% according to a Harris poll. There are several other areas, though, that warrant attention. The first Covid-19 vaccine delivered to the WHO was genomic medicine using RNA, which is the single strand copy of DNA. If approved, this could be the first deployment of genetic treatment at mass scale. InvestorPlace: In what ways will innovation in diagnostics, genetic treatments and informational management translate to the consumer experience? ProShares: This could be wrong, but a decade or two from now, I believe that we will look back at the current state of healthcare as though it were middle ages. Genomic medicine has the potential to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment. Many illnesses that come on late in life are tied to degradation in otherwise healthy genetic code. The ability to spot dangerous mutation or deterioration early could mean treating people before they are even symptomatic, like going for one week of chemotherapy to prevent cancer from growing in the first place. Over time, we may well have the ability to splice out bad code and replace it with healthy genes using CRISPR technology. There are over 6,000 illnesses tied to genetics, and more links are continually discovered. This could usher in an era of cheaper, more efficient, and elegant approaches to healthcare. InvestorPlace: In addition to allocating resources to Covid-19 research and development, which areas of healthcare will benefit from government-prioritized R&D spending? How will this be affected by a Biden or Trump win in November? ProShares: Much of the Covid spending has been earmarked for hospitals and frontline medical care, but government funding has been a big driver behind basic research like genomic medicine. As of April 2020, National Institute of Health had partnered with 16 companies. I think the pandemic-related efforts in R&D would be similar irrespective of election outcome, but there could be different approaches in areas like testing and contact tracing. Both candidates have talked about lowering drug prices and regulating parts of the healthcare sector, but it is hard to see Congress aggressively moving on this issue during the crisis. Ultimately, there will likely be more regulation around pricing, but this will likely focus on older medications rather than new products. Companies on the cutting edge will probably see little impact. InvestorPlace: What interests you most about innovation in digital consumerism? ProShares: Everything tied to experience-on-demand from food delivery to virtual reality is really interesting, especially as we figure out how to enjoy leisure time during the pandemic. Gaming and esports is a good example of innovation colliding with changing consumer behavior. Before the pandemic, 500 million viewers were watching other people play video games. This was super-charged by the pandemic. People watched 1.8 billion hours of video gaming on the Twitch platform in April 2020, a 101% increase over the prior year. To put 1.8 billion hours into perspective, you would have to watch gaming 24 hours day, and it would take 2,740 lifetimes consume that much content. Video games is already a $60 billion industry and will continue growing rapidly. InvestorPlace: What opportunities will be created from rising digitalization such as increased consumer data flow? Which industries stand to benefit the most? ProShares: Better data flow, and advances in big data analysis, will allow companies to better serve customers by tailoring the experience while also creating more efficient business models. That said, data use and ownership are a complicated challenge as companies try to drive efficiency while respecting privacy. Ecommerce is one big beneficiary, and people are growing more comfortable buying online. In 2009, online accounted for 4% of total retail sales, growing to 11% by the end of 2019, a statistic that surprises many people. Penetration accelerated rapidly to 16% of total retail in the US as of mid-2020 as people responded to Covid quarantine. InvestorPlace: Where is the market opportunity for growth in food innovation? ProShares: This is an underappreciated story. People think about tractors and wheat fields, but the food industry will undergo major transformation across the supply chain from research to food delivery. Between now and 2050, the UN forecasts that global population will expand by 2 billion people, meaning 200,000 new mouths to feed every day. Meanwhile, 50% of the habitable land on earth is already used for agriculture. We must become more efficient, producing more with less. One area for opportunity is research and creation of new types of sustainable food like plant-based protein—Beyond Meat for example has grown at 30% annually. Another is in data analysis such as putting small RFID radio chips in cows to assess their health or identify optimal yields for crop fields. Automation will also play a role as the large tractors of the past get replaced by small self-driving vehicles. InvestorPlace: Wall Street’s reaction to epidemics has historically been short-lived, but the coronavirus pandemic has been a “burning platform” for innovation to thrive. In what ways has this pandemic changed the ways in which we think about innovation? ProShares: In the last hundred years, there were three prior pandemics that unfortunately produced a million or more fatalities globally. Markets may have seen big drops, but to your point, recovered reasonably quickly. The years that followed pandemics were pretty good for investors with markets up 30% to 45% over two to three years. The end of Spanish Flu coincided with the start of the Roaring 20s, another period of innovation and prosperity. Innovation was already impacting almost every industry, but companies were forced to reinvent their business models much quicker than many expected. The pandemic has accelerated that process with years of innovation now realized in a matter of months. We saw how creative and nimble companies can be, and that ups the ante on innovation going forward. On the date of publication, John Kilhefner did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. In The InvestorPlace Q&A, we invite a manager to speak directly to Main Street investors, whether discussing their firm’s technologies, strategies or investments for the year ahead. Our goal is to put the spotlight on fund managers and other institutional investors of note, providing a detailed look into their management styles, world views and investing strategies. Read past interviews here. More From InvestorPlace Forget The Election… Pick These Stocks for the Win in 2021 Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG America’s #1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company The post ProShares Transformational Changes ETF: Invest in Innovation With ANEW appeared first on InvestorPlace.