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Should Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Zacks Equity Research
·4-min read

Looking for broad exposure to the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market? You should consider the Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/15/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $295.97 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Growth

Companies that find themselves in the large cap category typically have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Considered a more stable option, large cap companies boast more predictable cash flows and are less volatile than their mid and small cap counterparts.

Qualities of growth stocks include faster growth rates compared to the broader market, as well as higher valuations and higher than average sales and earnings growth rates. Also, growth stocks are a type of equity that carries more risk compared to others. They are likely to outperform value stocks in strong bull markets but over the longer-term, value stocks have delivered better returns than growth stocks in almost all markets.

Costs

Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.55%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.16%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 26.10% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Salesforce.com Inc (CRM) accounts for about 1.38% of total assets, followed by United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) and Apple Inc (AAPL).

The top 10 holdings account for about 12.32% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

DEF seeks to match the performance of the Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index before fees and expenses. The Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index is comprised of approximately 100 stocks selected from the S&P 500 Index based on investment and other screening criteria. The companies selected have potentially superior risk-return profiles during periods of stock market weakness while still offering the potential for gains during periods of market strength.

The ETF has added roughly 0% so far this year and is up about 4.31% in the last one year (as of 09/17/2020). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $37.36 and $58.86.

The ETF has a beta of 0.84 and standard deviation of 21.54% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 102 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

Invesco Defensive Equity ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, DEF is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Growth segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

The Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) track a similar index. While Vanguard Growth ETF has $60.39 billion in assets, Invesco QQQ has $127.78 billion. VUG has an expense ratio of 0.04% and QQQ charges 0.20%.

Bottom-Line

Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF): ETF Research Reports
 
Apple Inc. (AAPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
salesforce.com, inc. (CRM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG): ETF Research Reports
 
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Zacks Investment Research