Investing is about planning for the future, but some investments are bringing us closer to the future than ever before. Artificial intelligence is beginning to dramatically change the way we live, and recent developments in scientific research and technological advancements have given us a multitude of changes that hint at what is to come.
Some analysts forecast that the global artificial intelligence market will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the near future, including one report by Markets and Markets that suggests the industry could top $300 billion by 2026, up from $30 billion in 2020.
The good news for investors is that there are plenty of exchange-traded funds that currently offer exposure to the companies that are building AI technology.
The iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF (IRBO) tracks an index of developed and emerging market companies that are expected to participate in the long-term growth and innovation of robotics technologies and artificial intelligence.
IRBO invests in companies participating in the advancement of robotics and artificial intelligence. According to iShares, it is equal-weighted and composed of “global companies across the robotics and AI value chain” seeking “long-term growth with companies that can shape the global economic future.”
The WisdomTree Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Fund (WTAI) invests in the pursuit of “the AI megatrend” in publicly listed firms all over the globe that focus on capitalizing on AI in a diverse array of technologies and applications.” WTAI uses a “comprehensive approach that blends quantitative and qualitative research, seeking exposure to opportunities in the development and deployment of AI.”
The Global X Artificial Intelligence & Technology ETF (AIQ) invests in companies seeking to benefit from the “further development and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in their products and services, as well as in companies that provide hardware facilitating the use of AI for the analysis of big data.” AIQ tracks the Indxx Artificial Intelligence & Big Data Index.
The ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (ANEW) tracks the MSCI Global Transformational Changes Index. ANEW holds companies involved in “one or more of four Transformational Changes: Future of Work, Genomics & Telehealth, Digital Consumer, and Food Revolution” as determined by MSCI Inc. The companies involved are “on the forefront of these transformations” and “may represent compelling investment opportunities.”
The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ROBO) focuses on companies involved in "transformative innovations in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence." ROBO primarily invests in companies focused on AI but also those involved in cloud computing and other technologies. ROBO “invests in global companies that are driving transformative innovations in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (RAAI).” ROBO tracks the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index and uses a blended strategy that is a mix of value and growth stocks. It covers different market capitalizations and developed markets.
The First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (ROBT) tracks the Nasdaq CTA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Index. ROBT is approximately 50% in U.S.-based stocks but also holds companies in Japan, France and the U.K. The top holdings of ROBT include QinetiQ Group PLC (QQ:LON), a British defense technology company; Topcon Corp. (7732:TKS), a Japan-based maker of optical equipment; and AeroVironment Inc. (AVAV), a maker of unmanned aerial vehicles.