Dueling ETFs Target Millennial Theme

July 19, 2017

Millennials are getting significant attention these days, with global businesses fairly salivating to attract the largest post-boomer generation. As their numbers grow, they’re gathering consumer steam in its wake, so it’s not surprising two ETFs seek to exploit that potential.

The Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (MILN) was the first to hit the market, in May 2016, followed by the Principal Millennials Index ETF (GENY) in August. Both funds currently have about $7 million in assets under management, and despite their similar themes, they really are quite different.

They do not differ too much when it comes to costs. GENY is the cheaper of the two, at 0.45%, with MILN costing 0.50%.

More importantly, MILN takes a domestic perspective, while GENY a global one. MILN has nearly 80 holdings, while GENY has 110. The two funds have 32 securities in common, but where they diverge creates some interesting differences.

Domestic Vs. Global

Both include all of the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), but MILN’s U.S. focus means it omits well-known international firms like Tencent Holdings, Naspers and Adidas. GENY also excludes some U.S. firms with substantial global clout, such as Walt Disney and Twitter.

MILN has other popular U.S. names in its portfolio—like Etsy, Yelp.com and lululemon—that are less global in nature.

That said, GENY has outperformed MILN by a significant margin since its inception, with an increase of nearly 20% to MILN’s 11%. Year-to-date, GENY is up roughly 22%, while MILN is up more than 15%. That global component looks like it’s adding some extra oomph to GENY’s returns. 


Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com



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