The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. But it has also accelerated certain technological trends that investors should be tapped into and for many, robotics and automation are top of mind. ProShares' Executive Director of Thematic Investing Scott Helfstein sat down with The Motley Fool to dive into some of the intriguing stocks in their new ETF: ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (NYSEMKT:ANEW).
Now, why is Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) one of these revolutionary stocks? It has to do with autonomous tractors.
Corinne Cardina: Awesome. Jumping over to food revolution. Deere & Company is not one that comes to mind for me right off the bat when I'm thinking about what I'm going to have for lunch, but maybe it should. How is Deere disrupting agriculture, farming? Why do you think that its stock is going to outperform and be helped by the tailwinds from the pandemic?
Scott Helfstein: Well, I would pose a question that I think a lot of us don't think about, which is do we think it is easier to have a self-driving taxi operating in a downtown city or a self-driving tractor operating at a field?
Cardina: Going with a tractor.
Helfstein: As am I. Those are the types of things that investors should be thinking about, it's how all these technological innovations in one area are moving into another. When we think about, and by the way, why does the tractor only have to till the land? Why doesn't it have robotic arms in order to actually pick and store vegetables? So much of that is done by machine already and we're taking it to another level, for example, the use of drones; farmers using drones because a drone can evaluate things like oxygen level or chloroplast count in a way that walking through a field you would never see. If you have part of your crop that is getting sick or that is underdeveloped, you have a much higher likelihood of being able to use sensors from the sky. There is so much technology that is going to be brought to bear in food. Deere, for example, with something like the automated tractor will be a leading position. They already have the incumbency in terms of the relationships and they are investing to bring the technology to the customer.