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

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

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $244.77 M, 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. They tend to be stable companies with predictable cash flows and are usually less volatile than mid and small cap companies.

Growth stocks have higher than average sales and earnings growth rates. While these are expected to grow faster than the broader market, they also have higher valuations. Additionally, growth stocks have a greater level of risk associated with them. 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

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.59%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.15%.

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 Financials sector--about 19.40% of the portfolio. Healthcare and Information Technology round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Fiserv Inc (FISV - Free Report) accounts for about 1.19% of total assets, followed by Ball Corp (BLL - Free Report) and Amgen Inc (AMGN - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 11.47% 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 20.73% so far this year and was up about 8.46% in the last one year (as of 08/30/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $41.71 and $54.17.

The ETF has a beta of 0.77 and standard deviation of 11.38% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 100 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 an outstanding 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 iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF - Free Report) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ - Free Report) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF has $45.23 B in assets, Invesco QQQ has $72.49 B. IWF has an expense ratio of 0.19% 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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