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

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The Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF - Free Report) was launched on 12/15/2006, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $248.74 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

Large cap companies typically have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Overall, they are usually a stable option, with less risk and more sure-fire cash flows than mid and small cap companies.

While growth stocks do boast higher than average sales and earnings growth rates, and they are expected to grow faster than the wider market, investors should note these kinds of stocks have higher valuations. Something to keep in mind is the higher level of volatility that is affiliated with growth stocks. When you consider growth versus value, growth stocks are usually the clear winner in strong bull markets but tend to fall flat in nearly all other environments.

Costs

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts if all other fundamentals are the same.

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 1.21%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector--about 26.40% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Tyler Technologies Inc (TYL - Free Report) accounts for about 1.18% of total assets, followed by Xilinx Inc (XLNX - Free Report) and Idexx Laboratories Inc (IDXX - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 11.03% 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 lost about -3.97% so far this year and is down about -1.07% in the last one year (as of 11/02/2020). 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 21.77% 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 carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, DEF is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Growth area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares SP 500 Growth ETF (IVW - Free Report) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares SP 500 Growth ETF has $115.02 billion in assets, Invesco QQQ has $130.33 billion. IVW has an expense ratio of 0.18% and QQQ charges 0.20%.

Bottom-Line

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

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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