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The new Ark Space Exploration ETF prepares for takeoff — but is it worth the hype?

The newest ETF out of Ark Invest has piqued the interest of many market analysts.

Ark Investment Management is launching a space exploration ETF. But does it deserve the buzz? Here’s what we know about the fund and its potential competitors.

What we know about the Ark Space Exploration ETF (ARKX)

A new space exploration ETF is on the horizon: the Ark Space Exploration ETF. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) paperwork is underway and according to the filing, the fund will go live under the ticker symbol ARKX. No word yet on its official release date or accompanying expense ratio, but most Ark Invest funds carry an expense ratio of 0.75%.
The Ark Space Exploration ETF will invest in US and international stocks that contribute to space exploration, including companies that manufacture service rockets, satellites, drones, flying electric vehicles, and technology companies focused on artificial intelligence and energy storage.
Exchange-traded funds typically don’t make the headlines, but analysts are eager for the Ark Space Exploration ETF’s 2021 debut. Why? Well, the founding firm may have something to do with it.
Following its 2014 launch, Ark Investment Management captured the attention of investors with a solid lineup of successful funds. In fact, the firm’s top five funds have returned an average of 150% in 2020, according to Barron’s. And the firm’s founder and CEO, Cathie Wood, was named the best stock picker of 2020 by Bloomberg.

How do Ark Investment Management funds perform?

Here’s a look at Ark Investment Management’s ETFs and how they’ve performed over the past 12 months.

SymbolETF name1-year returnAnnual dividend yield
ARKKARK Innovation ETF166.94%1.41%
ARKWARK Next Generation Internet ETF151.58%1.19%
ARKQARK Industrial Innovation ETF117.93%0.75%
ARKGARK Genomic Revolution ETF204.59%0.72%
ARKFARK Fintech Innovation ETF101.73%0.35%
PRNT3D Printing ETF63.21%0%
IZRLARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF34.92%0%

Source: ETF Database

Space stocks: Industry at a glance

Electric vehicles may have dominated the stage in 2020, but analysts predict that 2021 will be the year for space stocks. With public interest in commercial spaceflight mounting and spaceflight technology becoming more sophisticated and accessible, this sector is well-positioned for growth.
In 2019, the global space economy was worth $423.8 billion, according to Statista. Government spending for the year amounted to 20% of the total global space economy, with the most sizable contributions coming from the US government. In 2020, NASA’s annual budget was $22.5 billion, dominating the $11 billion spent by China and the $6.7 billion spent by the European Space Agency.
Prominent stocks in this space include:

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD)
  • Heico Corporation (HEI)
  • Maxar Technologies (MAXR)
  • Momentus (SRAC)
  • Northrop Grumman (NOC)
  • Teledyne Technologies (TYD)
  • ViaSat, Inc (VSAT)
  • Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Other space exploration ETFs to consider

If you’re eager to add some space exploration to your portfolio ahead of the Ark Space Exploration ETF, consider either of the following space-focused funds.

SymbolETF name1-year returnAnnual dividend yield
ROKTSPDR S&P Kensho Final Frontiers ETF3.35%0.49%
UFOProcure Space ETF-1.21%1%

Source: ETF Database
And if you don’t yet have an investment portfolio, compare your brokerage options to get started.

How to buy space stocks and ETFs

Ready to add some space exploration to your portfolio? Here’s how the investment process works:

  1. Pick an investment platform. Compare your brokerage account options by fees and research tools to find the online platform best equipped to meet your needs.
  2. Open an account. Complete your account application and link an external account to fund your investments.
  3. Select your securities. Search for the space stock or ETF by company name, fund name or ticker symbol.
  4. Execute your order. Submit your order by indicating how many shares you’d like to purchase or how much you’d like to invest.
  5. Track your investments. Monitor the performance of your investments from your brokerage account.

Compare trading platforms

You’ll need a brokerage account to buy space stocks and ETFs.

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