- While the language bot ChatGPT has gone viral, a Watson-powered ETF is making nearly double the returns of the broader market.
- The AI Powered Equity ETF is up 10.4% in 2023, whereas the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is up 5.67%.
- IBM's Watson supercomputer helps balance the fund's portfolio holdings.
The popular language bot ChatGPT has shown a humanlike ability to render articles, emails, and even dating-app messages. But if you ask it to generate a portfolio that can beat the market, it spits out boilerplate information and reminds you it doesn't have access to live stock data.
Yet, the $102 million AI Powered Equity ETF (AIEQ), which launched in 2017, has been quietly fulfilling that request so far this year. Issued by ETF Managers Group in partnership with the fintech firm Equbot, the fund leans on IBM's Watson supercomputer to balance its portfolio.
That 114-holding portfolio is up 10.4% so far in 2023, while the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF is up 5% over the same stretch.
Still, as ETF.com highlighted, the former is actively managed, and thus more expensive than the benchmark fund, cutting into actual returns to investors. The AI-powered ETF charges 0.75%, whereas Vanguard's costs 0.03%. Both funds include JPMorgan and UnitedHealth Group in their top-10 holdings.
Chris Natividad, the chief investment officer of Equbot, said the Watson-powered fund can look beyond standard market data and cull information from tweets and earnings calls, according to ETF.com.
"We're focused on investment related data, looking at how these different types of signals impact security practices across different time horizons," Natividad said, per ETF.com.
"The best days of the fund are still ahead of it," he added. "And just as you'll see ChatGPT's responses change and evolve with time and data, so will our fund."
Meanwhile, ChatGPT's parent company, OpenAI, this month secured a $10 billion investment from Microsoft this month, and the technology continues to make waves across sectors.
Online media outlet BuzzFeed announced last week it plans to leverage the technology to create content, educators are warning about the bot's repercussions in schools, and chipmakers are poised to cash in.
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