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The best defense ETF to buy now

Here are the 5 best defense ETFs for investors seeking steady growth and rising dividends.

Defense exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are index funds that hold stocks of companies within the aerospace and defense sector. ETFs can help supplement your portfolio by giving you exposure to stocks known for their growth, stability and dividends. Because of the growing demand for aviation, increases in defense spending and developing interest in the space industry, we’ve curated a list of the best defense ETFs to buy now.(1)

Our top picks for where to buy defense ETFs

Best for beginners

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  • Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new account within 30 days

Best for options trading

  • Close stock and ETF options trades for $0
  • Trading courses to learn options trading
  • Get $100-$5,000 when you open and fund an account with $5,000 to $1,000,000+

Best for social investing

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  • FINDER EXCLUSIVE: Get a $25 bonus when you sign up and deposit $100

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5 best defense ETFs of 2023

The list below comprise the top 6 defense ETFs by year-to-date performance. Included is each ETF’s expense ratio, 1-year return and 5-year return. To settle on these picks, we chose only equity ETFs in the Aerospace & Defense sector with an expense ratio under 1%. No leveraged ETFs and no inverse ETFs were included in this list.

LogoETF name and tickerETF descriptionExpense RatioYTD returnLink to invest
SPDR S&P ETF logoSPDR S&P Kensho Future Security ETF (FITE)FITE ETF tracks the performance of the S&P Kensho Future Security Index, focusing on security innovations across cyber security, border security and military applications.0.45%6.82%Invest with SoFi
SPDR S&P ETF logoSPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR)XAR ETF provides investors with diversified exposure to the aerospace and defense industry by tracking the S&P Aerospace & Defense Select Industry Index.0.35%4.95%Invest with SoFi
Invesco Aerospace Defense ETF logoInvesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA)PPA ETF by Invesco offers investors exposure to the aerospace and defense industry, comprising major defense companies.0.58%4.34%Invest with SoFi
ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF logoARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX)ARKX is an ETF by ARK Invest, focusing on space exploration and innovation companies.0.70%4.04%Invest with SoFi
iShares U.S. Aerospace Defense ETF logoiShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA)ITA ETF tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index, offering broad exposure to U.S. manufacturers of commercial and military aircrafts and other defense equipment.0.40%-1.13%Invest with SoFi

How to invest in defense ETFs

If you’re wondering how to get started with investing in defense stocks, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a platform. Choose from our Top Picks above, our comparison table below or jump straight to the best ETF brokers of 2023.
  2. Open your account. Provide your personal information and sign up.
  3. Confirm your payment details. Fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
  4. Research ETFs. The platform should provide the latest information available.
  5. Buy your ETFs. Place a market order or limit order with your preferred number of shares. It’s that simple.

Compare more trading platforms to buy defense ETFs

Narrow down top trading platforms by available asset type, minimum deposit and more to find the best for your budget and financial goals.

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Ratings Available asset types Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
SoFi Invest
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Get up to $1,000 in stock
when you fund a new account within 30 days.
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures
Get $100 - $5,000
when you you open and fund an account with $5,000 to $100,000+
Highly commended for Best Derivatives Trading Platform award.
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
FINDER EXCLUSIVE: Get a guaranteed $25 bonus
when you sign up and deposit $100
Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Art, Treasury Bills, Collectibles
Get up to $300 in either stocks or crypto
when you use code FINDERUS to sign up and fund a new account.
2.5% fee applies to all alternative asset transactions.
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 5% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold. Subscription fees apply.
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Stocks, ETFs
Get a $50 bonus
when you fund your first taxable Automated Investing Account.
Automated stock and bond ETF investing with the ability to trade individual stocks for as little as $1 apiece.

Frequently asked questions about defense ETFs

Bottom line

Defense ETFs offer a convenient way to gain exposure to stocks of companies in the aerospace and defense sector without having to buy each stock individually. With growing demand across the aviation and space industry and ever-increasing defense spending, investors may want to consider if defense ETFs should have a place in their portfolio.

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