Leaders: Why Should We Care About What You Value?

Leaders: Why Should We Care About What You Value?

Knowing who we are and what we stand for in life requires each of us to find and use our VOICE.  And that first step in finding our VOICE is to recognize our VALUES.  That is the V in VOICE.

No matter all of the leadership roles we play, identifying what really matters to us is critical if we want to live a life of true alignment.   Not understanding or knowing what our core leadership values are, can be like a ship without a rudder…listless and just floating along…bumping into rocks, needing a tug or a push, and certainly lacking purpose and direction.  Have you ever felt like that?

In our daily life, whether we know it or not, we are constantly in situations where how we react, how we feel, how we engage with others are all determined by our core values.

Maybe it is somebody who is stating their opinion that we agree or disagree with. Maybe it is somebody who is doing something in front of us that we agree or disagree with.  Or maybe it is somebody who is asking us to do something that we agree to do…or perhaps not want to do (but we do it anyway).   Any of these scenarios call upon our values, our belief system, to determine how we react and feel.

So how can you tell if you are living a life aligned to your values?

Have you ever felt conflicted about doing something?  Or wanting to speak up because you don’t agree?  Or feeling tired and drained after a certain experience or perhaps after engaging with a certain person? Or getting a feeling deep down inside that you know something is wrong? Or even feeling regretful about something you said or did?

This list can go on and on…but these can all be signs that we are running up against our values.  That something is out of alignment.

Those of us that work in an office setting can be surrounded by stated values all of the time, these organizational values tell us how we are supposed to act or think.  These values are sometimes on framed posters around the office or we carry them on a laminated card. Have you ever worked in an environment where the values of the organization are not aligned to your set of core values?  How does that make you feel? Each day thousands of people go to work at a place that they do no trust or respect…not the best place to do your best work I would think.  Have you ever worked at a company like that?

Our values are our inner GPS, our core belief system that guides our decisions and behaviors.  Most of the decisions we make on a daily basis derive from our values, whether we are aware of it or not.  Think of the different roles we may play in life.  As a parent, as a student, as a leader, as a partner…each of those roles has a set of values that determine how we act out those roles in life.

Push yourself to remain genuine to who you are and what you represent…it’s not that hard.  It is much harder to maintain a facade and not be true to your values and your purpose.

Living a life that is aligned to your values can mean living a life with purpose and commitment.  It doesn’t mean that everything will work out splendidly all the time or that you won’t have obstacles in the way or challenges to deal with.  But if you are aware of your core values and live your life true to them, you will be much better prepared with the confidence and the muscle to get through and thrive from any challenge life throws at you.

Finding your VOICE as a leader means discovering your core VALUES; creating a compelling vision to get the OUTCOMES you want; building relationships with INFLUENCE and credibility; making decisions that use your COURAGE to stand alone; and communicating your overall EXPRESSION for lasting impact.

Life is too short not to use your VOICE.  What are you waiting for?

Paul N. Larsen
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Paul partners with leaders across a variety of industries and within organizations of all sizes to build and expand their leadership strength with a deliberate purpose and cle ... 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 Amazon.com 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 https://www.nasdaq.com/article/what-thematic-investing-is-and-its-strengths-and-risks-cm559209

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 www.alpsfunds.com. 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 ETFtrends.com. Tom is a frequent contributor to major print, radio and television media including Forbes, The Wall Street Jou ... Click for full bio