Hey Millennials! This ETF is for you
By Paul R. La Monica
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- What do Amazon, Facebook and Disney have in common?
Apparently they are companies that will benefit from the rise of Millennials.
These three stocks are all part of a new exchange traded fund that's designed to cash in on the spending power of Millennials -- the Global X Millennials Thematic ETF.
The fund's holdings are based on an index that gets updated periodically. So there aren't fund managers actively picking stocks per se.
At first blush, the ETF doesn't look a lot different than a standard S&P 500 or tech fund. After all, Amazon, Facebook and Disney are all companies that are pretty popular with Gen X-ers (like yours truly) and their Baby Boomer parents.
But if you dig deeper, there are some other holdings that make more sense from a demographic standpoint.
Two real estate investment trusts that own apartment buildings -- AvalonBay Communities and Equity Residential -- are top ten holdings in the ETF. That seems appropriate given that more younger Americans are delaying home purchases.
Jay Jacobs, Global X's director of research, said the Millennial index and ETF focus on big picture trends for this particular generation -- such as their tech savvy and willingness to move around from job to job more frequently.
With that in mind, online travel company Expedia, PayPal and LinkedIn are also top 10 holdings in the fund. Interestingly, so is Home Depot. (Maybe it should be renamed Apartment Depot?)
Still, should an entire generation be painted with such a broad brush? Especially one as large -- and with as wide an age gap -- as this one? The youngest Millennials were born in 2000. The oldest were born in 1980.
That means that the first Millennials may have more in common with me (born in 1973) while the newest members of this generation are apt to share more similar experiences with my oldest son, who was born in 2009.
Jacobs conceded that many older Millennials are now having kids of their own and moving to the suburbs.
But he noted that the index and ETF will evolve and that stocks will be added and removed based on whatever this generation is spending most on at any given time.
So at some point way down the road, this ETF could wind up looking a lot like another new generational fund that Global X just launched. It's called the Global X Longevity Thematic ETF.
And that fund's top holdings include several big drug companies, medical equipment makers and senior living centers.
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