Q&A With Gordon Pape: Investing in AI

A cartoonish looking robot that looks to be made out of cardboard.

Photo: Pixabay

This reader wants to invest in artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

Q – Please advise ETFs and/or mutual funds that you would recommend that focus on artificial intelligence and on blockchain technology. Thanks very much! – Ed P.

A – There is only one Canadian fund that focuses on blockchain. It was launched by the Harvest Funds last month under the name Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX: HBLK). So far it has been a loser, dropping from a high of $11.29 on its first day of trading (Feb. 7) to $8.42 as of the time of writing. I regard any blockchain funds as risky at this point – the technology is new, and it is too soon to know which companies will prosper and which will end up on the scrap heap.

There are several U.S.-based artificial intelligence ETFs but the only Canadian one I know of is the Horizons Active A.I. Global Equity ETF (TSX: MIND), which was launched last fall. It has fared better than the blockchain entry, although it is down from its high of $26.49, reached in January.

The best-known AI fund is the Global X Robotics and AI ETF (NDQ: BOTZ), which was launched in September 2016. It’s coming off a very good year, gaining 49.5 per cent in the year to Feb. 28. However, it has been soft recently, so you may want to watch it for a while before investing. – G.P.

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