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Battle Of The Robot ETFs

With the recent introduction of Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ) in September 2016, there are now two ETFs focused on the robotics and automation theme. The other fund is Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NASDAQ:ROBO) which started trading almost 3 years earlier, in October 2013.

But if there is any rust on ROBO's bolts you sure couldn't tell based on its recent performance, up 47% in the last year. ROBO is even performing about 4% (or 10% annualized) better than its new rival.

Last month I wrote an article on BOTZ, noting that the P/E ratio was high compared to other technology and Japanese ETFs. Even so, BOTZ has been handily outperforming the S&P 500, especially since President Trump took office, with the investment community betting that robotics will benefit substantially with the U.S. manufacturing renaissance.

Differences in Fund Characteristics

Despite targeting similar themes, the make-up of the two ETFs could not be any more different. ROBO holds 85 stocks and is tilted towards mid and small cap stocks, while BOTZ has 28 stock holdings with a bias towards giant to mid cap stocks.

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by Steve Auger