Best ETFs for 2019: The Global X Robotics and AI ETF Powers Ahead

This article is a part of InvestorPlace’s Best ETFs for 2019 contest. Tom Taulli’s pick for the contest is the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ).

Best ETFs Contest 2019: The Global X Robotics and AI ETF Powers AheadIn early December, I wrote a post for regarding my pick for the Best ETFs for 2019 contest. My pick: The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ).

At the time, the markets were in the bear phase, and tech stocks were getting hit particularly hard. But of course, within a couple weeks, things would improve in a big way.

So what about the BOTZ stock now? Well, the year-to-date return has been solid, with a gain of nearly 19%.

Now when it comes to AI and robotics, I think there should be a long-term focus. The fact is that these industries are quite volatile and highly competitive, with huge players like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

Yet I think the risks are well worth it since AI and robotics represent some of the most strategic categories in technology. Consider the following stats:

  • IDC predicts that spending on robotics and drones will rise this year by 17.6% to $115.7 billion and hit $210.3 billion by 2022.
  • IDC also forecasts that global spending on cognitive and AI systems will go from $24 billion in 2018 to $77.6 by 2022.

As for the BOTZ ETF, it has 37 holdings in its portfolio — with assets over $1.5 billion — and a reasonable expense ratio 0.68%. Some of the top holdings include Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), Keyence (OTCMKTS:KYCCF) and OMRON (OTCMKTS:OMRNY). The fund also has much exposure in international markets, with 17.44% in Europe and 48.94% in Asia.

In fact, BOTZ stock only had two losers for the year so far. There is ABB (NYSE:ABB), which dropped a mere 1% and Renishaw (OTCMKTS:RNSHF), which was off about 10%.

OK then, so what were some of the big winners for BOTZ stock? Let’s take a look:

  • NVDA – 33%: The company’s GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) have proven quite adept for AI because of the ability for intensive processing. And NVDA has been aggressive, building out solid businesses in the datacenter and self-driving cars. Yet during the quarter, the company also agreed to shell out $6.9 billion for Mellanox Technologies (NASDAQ:MLNX), which develops sophisticated ethernet switches. The deal, which is expected to be accretive, will expand NVDA’s footprint in the data center and will also help with AI applications.
  • iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) – 47%: The company reported solid results for the fiscal fourth quarter, with earnings soaring from 16 cents a share to 88 cents a share and revenues jumping by 17.7% to $384.7 million. The Street, on the other hand, was looking for earnings of 50 cents a share and revenues of $381 million. During the holiday quarter, IRBT saw lots of traction with its innovative Roomba i7 and i7+ robots, as well as a strong performance in the Japanese market.

Tom Taulli is the author of High-Profit IPO StrategiesAll About Commodities and All About Short SellingFollow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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