Goldman Sachs is entering the thematics space - a pocket of the ETF industry once thought a "laughing stock" (to quote Bloomberg) - listing five fascinating products in the US.

  • Goldman Sachs Motif New Age Consumer ETF (GBUY)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Data-Driven World ETF (GDAT)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Human Evolution ETF (GDNA)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Finance Reimagined ETF (GFIN)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Manufacturing Revolution ETF (GMAN)

All of the funds will track indexes provided by Motif, a robo-advice startup that provides thematic and SRI overlays to its investment advice.

GBUY will invest in companies that may benefit from "new age consumer" behaviours. GS decomposes this theme into several sub-themes. These include the obvious like ecommerce, social media, video gaming and online music. But also more interesting topics - like "experiences over goods," "evolution of education," and "health and wellness" - which double up as social commentary.

GDAT tries to tap into the big data theme. This is then broken down into the sub-themes: the internet of things, data infrastructure, big data, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. These areas have been quite well explored by other tech-themed ETFs.

GDNA will function as something like a clever healthcare ETF and try invest in companies that drive healthcare innovation. The subthemes Motif looks for are: precision medicine, genomics, life extension, robotics surgery and consumer health care.

GFIN will look at companies that benefit and drive the changes in finance. The subthemes they look for are digitisation of finance, like online lenders and payments companies, "asset management makeover", which interestingly includes the ETF industry, and blockchain.

GMAN aims to tap into companies shaking up manufacturing and capital inputs. The themes that it targets include the well-explored, like robotics and 3D printing, as well as self-driving cars, drones and clean energy.

Method

Motif uses a keyword search on companies filings, as well as academic papers and patents, to determine how related a company is to a subtheme. Companies are then weighted based on how related to the theme they are, in conjunction with their market capitalisation.

All the funds charge 0.50%.