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Autonomous Vehicle ETFs. The recent SPACs of Aurora and Embark… | by David Silver | Self-Driving Cars | Nov, 2021


David Silver

The recent SPACs of Aurora and Embark, on top of all of the other lidar and EV and eVTOL and AV companies that have gone public over the last year, got me wondering what the financial returns might be on a basket of these stocks.

And as soon as I wondered that, I suspected Wall Street had already created such a basket.

The answer turns out to be, sort of. There are a handful of ETFs that are roughly in the “next generation mobility” space, but a big confounder seems to be exposure to Tesla stock. Tesla stock has just been so successful over the last 12 months (last 10 years, really), that it seems that the performance of these ETFs must be dominated by how much Tesla stock they hold.

Indeed, in the chart above, you can see purple Tesla ticker is just way beyond every other option, whereas the Russell 3000 (up 33% in one of its best years ever!) lags the pack. Probably the Russell 3000 is a lot less exposed to Tesla than the future mobility ETFs.

Here is a different graph that plots some of the individual new mobility stocks over the last six months. You can see it’s kind of a mixed bag, with Tesla and NIO, the only two consumer-facing companies on the chart, performing quite well.

Seems like this should almost go without saying, but I’ll say it. None of this is investment advice. My personal financial portfolio consists of none of these stocks, but rather is almost entirely built on low-cost Vanguard Target Retirement Funds.

This is all just an interesting curiosity to me.

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