'Good Times' ETFs On A Roll

April 12, 2018

Videogame ETF

Investors can capitalize on the sizable gaming industry with the $102 million ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR), an ETF that tracks global video game makers, sellers and users. GAMR's mandate is broad, within holdings in hardware and software developers, virtual reality-firms, IP developers and electronics conglomerates. Though at 36%, U.S. stocks dominate the portfolio, Japanese and Korean companies are also well-represented in holdings (26% and 11%, respectively).

Over the past 12 months, GAMR has risen 42.1%. Investors pay a steep fee of 0.82% for that performance, however.

GAMR comes with one extra caveat: It is one of five funds that have had to shoulder the ongoing legal costs of its parent company, ETF Managers Group. In January, the company revised GAMR's total operating expenses up 0.07% in connection with lawsuits filed by PureShares and Nasdaq, and it's impossible to tell if further revisions may be in the cards. (ETFMG's other ETFs on this list, MJ and WSKY, were not affected. Read more at: "Investors Shoulder ETFMG's Legal Costs.")

Must-See TV ETFs

Who says a good time means leaving the house? Investors have two media and home entertainment ETF options: the $49.3 million PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (PBS) and the $4.9 million iShares Evolved U.S. Media and Entertainment ETF (IEME), which just launched last month.

PBS offers a multifactor take on the U.S. media stocks, with a portfolio that holds mostly media and publishing companies but also IT stocks, software firms and retailers. Netflix is PBS' top holding (6%), naturally, followed by Sirius XM (6%) and Time Warner (6%).

Over a 12-month period, PBS has gained only 4.86%, which isn't much considering its steep 0.61% fee.

IEME, meanwhile, is one of a new suite of actively managed iShares funds designed to provide marketlike exposure by using machine-learning techniques to classify, select and weight stocks. Despite its AI twist, none of its holdings is particularly surprising: Its top three stocks are Disney (7%), Comcast (7%) and CBS (5%).

IEME charges just 0.18%, making it by far the cheapest "good times" ETF in our list.

Good Times Don't Come Cheap

With the exception of IEME, none of these highly thematic ETFs comes cheap; thematic ETFs rarely do.

Some of these ETFs also tend to be thinly traded, with wide spreads. WSKY, for example, carries a whopping 1.54% spread.

Contact Lara Crigger at [email protected]

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