Janus is launching four ways to bet on people's health, including an 'Obesity ETF'

Janus Capital has a new way to invest in, or bet against, the future health of Americans. Their offerings include a new obesity-based investment vehicle.

The asset manager is launching 4 new exchange traded funds (ETFs) that are designed to track companies that are involved in health-related activities, according to a filing.

The four ETFs are:

  1. The Obesity ETF:“Seeks investment results that correspond generally to… an index which is designed to track the performance of companies globally that are positioned to profit from servicing the obese, including, but not limited to biotechnology firms (for obesity and obesity related disease), healthcare (for obesity and obesity related disease, including medical devices and kidney dialysis), and weight loss programs and supplements.”
  2. The Organics ETF: “Seeks investment results that correspond generally to… an index which is designed to track the performance of companies globally that are positioned to profit from increasing demand for organic products, including, but not limited to, companies which service, produce, distribute, market or sell organic food, beverage, cosmetics, supplements, or packaging.”

  3. The Long-Term Health ETF: “Seeks investment results that correspond generally to… an index which is designed to track the performance of companies globally that are positioned to profit from providing long-term care to the ageing population, including, but not limited to, companies owning or operating senior living facilities, nursing services, specialty hospitals, and senior housing.
  4. The Health and Fitness ETF: “Seeks investment results that correspond generally to… an index which is designed to track the performance of companies globally that are positioned to profit from servicing those participating in health and fitness activities, including, but not limited to companies whose business is focused on fitness technology/equipment, sports apparel, nutrition, and fitness centres.

The four ETFs have a few restrictions. For example, 90% of the companies in the funds must have market capitalizations above $100 million.

A spokesperson for Janus declined to comment further on the ETFs, since the products are pending approval by the SEC.

This is another example of the exploding popularity of ETFs over the past few years, especially for specific sectors and strategies. There are now ways to invest in everything from video games to short sellers.

However, as we’ve noted before, the performance of the assets in an ETF has usually peaked by the time the index fund has been created.

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