How a Celebration Can Nourish Both Your Mind and Body
There’s nothing like a well-deserved celebration after a hard-earned victory.
One seems to feed off the other, and like peanut butter and jelly, victory and celebration just seem to be made for each other. Call me a contrarian, but I think a celebration, during a time of struggle when there’s little to celebrate, is even more important.
To better understand the point I’m about to make, I suggest you watch the show, Survivor. I’ve been watching the show for over 15 years now. For those who have never seen this show, or for those who need a reminder, each week there are two competitions. One is called an “Immunity Challenge.” That’s the big one, and if you win that one, you are guaranteed to be safe for another couple of days.
There is one other competition each week, and that one is called a “Reward Challenge.”
Those reward challenges are often underrated because the winners usually only walk away with some much needed food, or fishing gear, or a couple of blankets, or possibly a letter from home. Those items probably don’t sound very important to you, but then again, you aren’t struggling to maintain your strength on a cup or two of rice a day, sleep deprived and under constant stress while away from your loved ones for an extended length of time.
However, those little victories nourish the mind and body. Properly fed, adequately rested, and mentally sharp, contestants are stronger, and make better decisions. This, in turn, directly impacts the contestant’s abilities to be so much more competitive in the larger, all-important immunity challenges to come.
One thing is for sure; struggle can deplete the mind and body of energy.
But victory, no matter how small, can do wonders, and a victory can provide amazing benefits that carry over to other things. It is amazing how things can change dramatically with even the smallest of victories. If only we could find ourselves a well-timed victory…. no matter how small. I maintain these smaller victories are there and they are right under our noses. We just have to look harder.
When we are engaged in struggle, smaller victories are the furthest thing from our minds. We dismiss even the thought of them, and if any good-natured friend reminds us of them, we quickly reject whatever it is they have to say. It’s as if we believe that allowing ourselves to celebrate these small victories will somehow anger the “fairies of fate” that surely must be listening.
During times of struggle, acknowledging and celebrating smaller victories makes sense, and there is no downside. Think of the last time you celebrated any victory; were you stronger or weaker from the experience? Oh, and please don’t tell yourself there is nothing to celebrate because that’s just not true. That’s the struggle talking.
There are a lot of things that you can celebrate and pat yourself on the back for – even when you are in the midst of great struggles. What about your resolution to keep trying? How about celebrating the amount of effort you’ve put into something? Why can’t you acknowledge the courage you’ve displayed by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations in your quest to succeed? Why shouldn’t you feel good about the fact that you continue to learn from your mistakes? How about giving yourself a pat on the back for following your plan and pursuing your goals – regardless of the results?!
When we struggle, we aren’t starving for food like on Survivor; we’re starving for joy. Allowing yourself to seek out and celebrate victories, no matter how small, will nourish your mind and body at a time when you need this sustenance the most. In turn, this will directly impact your ability to be more competitive in your larger, all-important challenges to come. So don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back: Here’s to your impending celebration!
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.
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.
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%.2 Said another way, that robotics and AI index's February slide was more than triple the loss experienced by DTEC during the month.
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.
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