The world has been changing rapidly since the industrial revolution in the 20th century, and now our future is even more unforeseeable because of robotic revolution encompassing machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analysis. Astute indexers as well as fund houses have already identified this trend and put into market a handful ETF products to choose from. ROBO, BOTZ and RBOT.
ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (ROBO), was launched to markets by Exchange Traded Concepts back in October 2013, has since accumulated $576.74 million AuM. BOTZ, Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF came to markets three years later in September, 016, has attained $96.02 million assets. While RBOT, iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS ETF, issued by BlackRock along the same time line September, 2016, has massively surpassed BOTZ, reaching an astounding $546.67 AuM as of May 2017. Given BlackRock’s number one place in ETF space, it has a large resource and credibility to persuade investors pour their money in, however; ultimately, the core advantage resides in the product quality and near half the expense ratio of that of ROBO and BOTZ. (0.95%, 0.68% and 0.40% of ROBO, BOTZ and RBOT respectively)
ROBO tracks Robo Global Robotics and Automation Index, its universe eligibility requires a trading volume greater than $200 thousand and market cap over $200 million. Then companies also has to fit in one of the thirteen subsectors within the indexer’s proprietary classification system. Such sectors are Technologies enabling robots to sense, actuate, compute and process; and expanding field in industrial manufacturing, materials handling, 3D printing, consumer products, security etc. Lastly, companies must be positioned as a market and growth leader.
RBOT, anchored to iSTOXX FactSet Automation & Robotics index, is based on the supreme, granular FactSet RBICS structure. An automated system is developed to go through 35 automation & robotics sectors in RBICS to filter out relevant companies in split-second manner. Such sectors include 3D Modeling/Rapid Prototyping Automation Providers, Video Multimedia Semiconductors, Business Intelligence Software, and Mobile Platform Applications Software.
Now let’s compare their performance.