In this article, we will take a look at the 10 weirdest, unusual ETFs you can buy. To see more such ETFs, go directly to 5 Weirdest, Unusual ETFs You Can Buy.
The inflation wave that started in 2022 is still reverberating throughout the globe and has affected almost every facet of the global economy. Inflation, rising interest rates and the subsequent decline in stocks markets have spooked individual investors with limited budgets. Investing in stock market has always been tricky. But the latest backdrop has redoubled the importance of portfolio diversification. According to a report by BlackRock, as of the end of 2022, 46% of individual stocks lost money over the last five years. On the other hand, just 1% of “diversified investments” lost money during the same period. Individual stocks are always prone to more losses. Short-term waves like AI-led rally of 2023 should not lure you into believing that you can easily put your money into some individual stocks and enjoy huge returns. Had it been the case, expert stock pickers and money managers would not have been posting huge losses. The BlackRock report said that investing in “many stocks” provide a downside protection that is not possible in investing in a limited number of individual stocks.
Investing in different stock markets has been one of the tools to diversify investment portfolios. A Vanguard report mentions some interesting data points showing how investing in global markets to diversify one’s portfolio has been an efficient strategy to diversify portfolios instead of putting all your money into the stocks of a single country. The report said that the US stock market’s volatility has been the lowest but global markets, which aggregate all countries, beat even the US when it comes to low volatility.
ETFs provide an efficient way to hedge against losses and diversify your portfolios. Unless you are Warren Buffett or Mark Cuban (who are famous for being against diversification), diversification is your necessity since in financial markets a beginner or amateur (and in many cases, professional) investor cannot say with 100% certainty that their bets would pay off. ETFs provide you a way to have exposure to many stocks in a tax-efficient way along with having some downside protection. And ETFs have been attracting investors over the past few years.
Investing Advice from an Expert: "Don't Get Fancy"
A Bloomberg report published in August 2021 said that most of the money invested in US ETFs went to U.S. large-cap funds. Investors poured a whopping $1.7 trillion to U.S. stock ETFs and just $440 billion to foreign ones, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The report at the time mentioned that most of the returns posted by the US stock market were coming from just a handful of US large-cap stocks like Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, etc. Ironically that is true today as well. The Bloomberg report also quoted Marc Andreessen, the famous investor who’s a master at spotting profitable startups of the future. Even Andreessen’s advice for average investors is to invest in an index fund tracking S&P 500 and to don’t get “fancy.” Time and again successful investors have reiterated a golden investing principle: not losing money and hedging against losses should be the top priority when you are investing the stock market. There are more losers in the market than winners so you ought to be careful where you put your money. That’s why ETFs have attracted millions of young Americans over the past few years.
As the legendary value investor Mohnish Pabrai said in an interview:
“I think that the core of the Dhando framework is heads I win, tails I don’t lose much. You’re trying to place bets where the upside overwhelms the downside. I think that it’s a great framework from that perspective, where you’re trying to buy assets at a very significant margin of safety, and that margin of safety in effect gives you the upside. The only evolution, not so much in the Dhando framework but more in my own framework of looking at businesses, is that I pay more attention to the qualitative factors around a business than the quantitative. In the past I used to be much more focused on the quantitative. For example, the quality of management, the durability of the moat, and those sorts of things. I’ve learnt that if you get exceptional managers, and even if they don’t have such exceptional businesses that they’re running, they will produce some incredible results. Sometimes jockey bets - paying out for the right jockey, is a great way to go.”
Photo by Ruben Sukatendel on Unsplash Our Methodology
For this article, we conducted a thorough search of the ETF world and scoured the internet and investment communities online to find some unusual, weird, funny and interesting ETFs. These ETFs allow you to have exposure to peculiar set of stocks. Top holdings of some of these ETFs include major companies like Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIVN).
Weirdest, Unusual ETFs You Can Buy
10. Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD)
Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD), whose ticker symbol WWJD stands for “What Would Jesus Do,” believes in investing in companies that are aligned with biblical values. Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD) invests in companies that are “blessing” to their communities and that adhere to “faith.” Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD) assigns a score to its portfolio companies on a scale of -100 to +100. The companies are assigned a score on this scale based on their alignment with biblical values. The higher the score the more the company in question is aligned with faith-based values.
Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD) mostly provides exposure to non-US companies. The biggest holding of Inspire International ETF (NYSE:WWJD) is Japan-based oil company INPEX Corporation.
9. Inspire Global Hope ETF (NYSE:BLES)
Inspire Global Hope ETF (NYSE:BLES) invests in companies that have values aligned with biblical values. Inspire Global Hope ETF (NYSE:BLES) gives exposure to US and international companies. Among the top holdings of Inspire Global Hope ETF (NYSE:BLES) include oil giants like Schlumberger, Cenovus Energy Inc. and Halliburton.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2023, 60 hedge funds out of the 910 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported owning stakes in Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB).
8. ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSE:PAWZ)
ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSE:PAWZ) ranks 8th in our list of the unusual ETFs you can buy today. ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSE:PAWZ) gives exposure to the lucrative pet care industry. Companies operating in pet food, pet care, pet toys and related sectors are included in ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSE:PAWZ). The biggest three holdings of ProShares Pet Care ETF (NYSE:PAWZ) include Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Freshpet and Zoetis.
Pet food company Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT)’s shares have gained about 73% over the past one year. Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) said in August it struck a deal with activist investor JANA Partners after which Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) would appoint s Timothy McLevish and Joseph Scalzo to its board. JANA agreed to withdraw director nominations it had previously submitted to the company.
7. Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (NYSE:GAMR)
Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (NYSE:GAMR) is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and there is no end in sight to the growth video game companies are expected to see in the future, thanks to the growing young population who want to spend time and money on playing games. Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (NYSE:GAMR) seeks to track the EEFund Video Game Tech IndexTM.
Some of the biggest holdings of Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (NYSE:GAMR) are Polish video games company CD Projekt, Unity and Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI).
6. VanEck Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE:BUZZ)
VanEck Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE:BUZZ) ranks 6th in our list of the weird and unusual ETFs you can buy today. VanEck Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE:BUZZ) gives you exposure to over 70 large-cap stocks which “exhibit the highest degree of positive investor sentiment and bullish perception based on content aggregated from online sources including social media, news articles, blog posts and other alternative datasets.”
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Disclosure: None. 10 Weirdest, Unusual ETFs You Can Buy is originally published on Insider Monkey.