It's Time for Each of Us to Leap Into Uncertainty

It's Time for Each of Us to Leap Into Uncertainty

Madness is the result not of uncertainty but of certainty. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Organizations, families, countries and communities that thrive have a mindset that unites people in collective purpose, awareness, understanding and co-creation. They may compete but in a healthy way in which they understand that we are all here to learn from ourselves and each other. Values they practice are being impeccable with their words and actions.

Is there a best practice or manual with worksheets that you can follow? Not really. It all goes back to what Socrates shared with us, in Know Thyself.

People who invest their time in self-awareness are making more conscious choices for themselves and those around them. Organizations that are deep in understanding are creating value for themselves and with those around them. Walls are coming down so the connections can be real and authentic, and actual work can get done that has meaning and purpose.

That drive to being important and successful is changing and it is happening quietly with people who are ready to truly look reality in the eye. People are starting to gather in new and ancient ways to have deep, meaningful dialogue that flows with laughter and ease. It’s not all serious. There is a sense of curiosity that is emerging around what we can do together.

The sharing economy, for example, is very ancient. All we have done is added technological platforms. And yet, most of the sharing economy companies are still commoditizing the worker. The business model has not changed at all. And for non-Western parts of the world, sharing is a way of life. It has always been. We just forgot how to truly share in the West.

When I arrived back from my trip, I flew into a city that does not allow ride sharing. It was 11 pm and one of the longest taxi lines I have seen. Everyone was complaining as the line grew. The two people in front of me started talking about how horrible it was they had to stand in line. The young woman said, I am not familiar with this world. I don’t have cash. How do I pay? What do I do? They continued to complain about their predicament of being forced to take cabs. Standing there with them, after a long journey, I reflected on how fragmented we have become.I too prefer ride sharing only because I find it to be a much more humane experience where the driver 98% of the time makes it a great experience, a co-creation rather than a ride to a destination. But I waited for my turn knowing that this is just the way things work in this city and complaining to each other won’t change a thing.

Related: Do You Know Where You Are Going?

Organizations that build relationships with the people who see value in what they provide will bring in new ways to make change happen. Unlikely partnerships and co-creation are ingredients conscious 21st century leaders understand.

We have this amazing playground to experiment and learn in every single day. We can see problems every where we go, and get frustrated, anxious and stressed or we can look beyond them to find the beautiful opportunities that are waiting to be harvested by those ready to take a leap into uncertainty because you know thysef.

What are you co-creating? Why?
Who are you co-creating with? Why?
Who are your most unlikely partners? How can they help you change your game?

Ayelet Baron
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Ayelet Baron helps leaders thrive – she is a global strategist who speaks, writes and consults people and organizations to gain a 21st century edge. Today Ayelet is at the f ... Click for full bio

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments.

Go back to the late 1990s, before the bursting of the Internet/technology bubble. Back then, investors stood an equal chance of selecting E-Toys over Amazon or some no longer in existence networking equipment maker over Cisco.

“History is littered with examples of prospering industries with no indication of which company will come to dominate the industry,” according to Nasdaq. “This suggests that successful thematic investing is more about selecting baskets of investments rather than single securities.”1

The ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) provides basket exposure to a broad swath of thematic investments. DTEC features exposure to not just one or two emerging technologies, but 10 such themes on an equal-weight basis.

Disruptive Efficiency

The 10 themes represented in DTEC are as follows: 3D printing, clean energy, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data and analytics, fintech, healthcare innovation, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Generally speaking, fund issuers have been quick to respond to disruptive and transformative technologies, bringing products to market to tap these themes. Prior to DTEC coming to market late last year, there were ETFs devoted exclusively to cloud computing, cybersecurity, robotics and other themes featured in DTEC. However, few use the basket approach to themes employed by DTEC.

Related: Getting Paid to Play The Energy Patch

February, a rough month for U.S. stocks, highlighted the advantages of DTEC's multi-theme methodology. Seven of the 10 themes found in the fund finished the month lower, but DTEC was able to outperform the S&P 500 on a monthly basis.

Focusing on individual themes can be rewarding over the long-term, but not all investors have the risk tolerance for such a strategy. Consider this: the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index jumped more than 48% in 2017. That type of performance is enough to seduce many investors, but that same benchmark slipped 7.60% in February, generating monthly volatility of 34.10%.Said another way, that robotics and AI index's February slide was more than triple the loss experienced by DTEC during the month.

More Advantages

While it probably is not accurate to call the indexes devoted to individual disruptive themes “old,” many use old school weighting methodologies. For example, the two largest components in the ISE Cloud Computing Index are Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Inc. (AMZN). Only two members of the S&P 500 have larger market values than Amazon while Netflix currently has a larger market cap than Wal-Mart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD).

Holdings subject ot change as of 12/31/17

For its part, DTEC not only equally weights its 10 disruptive themes, but its 100 components as well, potentially reducing single stock risk in the process. As the chart below confirms, equally weighting stocks is rewarding across sectors and market capitalization segments.

Past performance does not guarantee future results

Annualized returns for the past 10 years show seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, when equally weighted, outperform cap-weighted equivalents, according to S&P. Three of those seven sectors – financial services, healthcare and technology – are prominent parts of DTEC's roster.

1 Source: Nasdaq Dec. 28, 2015

2 Source: ETF Replay data


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus which contain this and other information call 866.675.2639 or visit Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

An investment in the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) may be subject to substantially greater risk and volatility than investments in larger and more mature technology companies.

There is no assurance that the market developments and sector growth based upon the themes discussed in the article will come to pass.

ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF shares are not individually redeemable. Investors buy and sell shares of the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF on a secondary market. Only market makers or “authorized participants” may trade directly with the Fund, typically in blocks of 50,000 shares.

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (AAI) has engaged IRIS Werks, LLC (IRIS) to produce analysis and commentary on ALPS-advised ETFs. IRIS currently has a compensated business relationship with AAI. AAI is not affiliated with IRIS.

The content and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and not the views and opinions of AAI.  In addition, AAI assumes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content written by the author.

There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including the loss of money. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment is available in the prospectus. Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

The fund is new and has limited operating history.

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF. AAI is affiliated with ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.

The author is not an investment professional and this article should not be considered investment advice. While the information and statistical data contained herein are based on sources believed to be reliable, the author takes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content. Additionally, this article should not be relied on or be the basis for an investment decision. Information that is historical is not indicative of future results, and subject to change.

S&P 500®: A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

S&P SmallCap 600®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

S&P MidCap 400®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the mid-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

Indxx Global Robotics & Artifical Intelligence Thematic Index: The Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index is designed to track the performance of companies listed in developed markets that are expected to benefit from the increased adoption and utilization of robotics and Artificial Intelligence ("AI"), including companies involved in Industrial Robotics and Automation, Non-Industrial Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Vehicles.

Tom Lydon
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IRIS Co-Founder and Editor and proprietor of Tom is a frequent contributor to major print, radio and television media including Forbes, The Wall Street Jou ... Click for full bio