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

Zacks Equity Research

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market, the Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/15/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $286.62 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

Companies that fall in the large cap category tend to 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. Also, growth stocks are a type of equity that carries more risk compared to others. 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

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%, making it one of the more expensive 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 Information Technology sector--about 18.30% of the portfolio. Financials and Industrials round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Eli Lilly & Co (LLY) accounts for about 1.07% of total assets, followed by Zoetis Inc (ZTS) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT).

The top 10 holdings account for about 10.47% 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 about 0.86% so far this year and was up about 25.60% in the last one year (as of 01/13/2020). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $45 and $56.78.

The ETF has a beta of 0.75 and standard deviation of 11.15% 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 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 reasonable 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 Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF has $50.51 B in assets, Invesco QQQ has $89.96 B. IWF has an expense ratio of 0.19% and QQQ charges 0.20%.

Bottom-Line

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also 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
 
Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF): ETF Research Reports
 
Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports
 
Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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