Robot makers index fund launches on Nasdaq

AVA 500 telepresence robot maker iRobot is one of 77 stocks in a new robotics fund on the Nasdaq exchange.

(Credit: iRobot)

One hundred years ago, the smart money went into automobiles. Thirty years ago, it was personal computers. Is now the right time to invest in robots?

Some people think so, and Tuesday they launched the Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

It’s billed as the world’s first benchmark index tracking robotics and automation companies, with 77 stocks from companies around the world included in the fund.

Trading under the ticker ROBO, the fund was launched by Exchange Traded Concepts, an ETF platform with a license from Dallas-based Robo-Stox LLC, which developed the underlying index.

The fund has assets of $2.5 million and a management fee of 0.95 percent. Its stock closed at $25.32 Tuesday, the day of the debut.

About 40 percent of the 77 companies in the index are industry bellwether manufacturers such as iRobot, ABB, Intuitive Surgical, and Yaskawa Electric.

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