While hope for many investors remains pinned to a strong economic recovery from the damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the specter of inflation surfacing has thus far remained in the background, suggests Jim Woods, editor of The Deep Woods.

After all, inflation has remained low for many years and many people’s memories of the effects of this economic phenomenon have grown dim with the passage of time. However, some market analysts, including Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi, have started to sound the alarm.

With the pandemic starting to wind down, the arrival of a new stimulus package and the presence of pent-up demand, these individuals have argued that the coming months will see a sudden surge of demand and spending on the part of consumers that the market is unprepared to receive.

Not surprisingly, this grim news has led some investors to search for safe havens in which to park their funds. One such source may be the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Materials ETF (RTM). The fund tracks an index of American materials companies.

Interestingly, the fund’s managers use an equal-weighting strategy to assemble this ETF’s portfolio. While this decision favors mid-caps over both industrial giants and smaller public companies, a side effect is that the portfolio’s volatility remains stable.

Some of this fund’s top holdings include Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Mosaic Company (MOS), CF Industries Holdings (CF), Martin Marietta Materials (MLM), LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB), Avery Dennison (AVY), WestRock (WRK) and Vulcan Materials (VMC).

This fund’s performance has been relatively strong, even when including the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 9, RTM has been up 5.84% over the past month and up 10.27% for the past three months. It is currently up 9.80% year to date.

Chart courtesy of stockcharts.com

The fund has amassed $589.28 million in assets under management and has an expense ratio of 0.40%.

In short, while RTM does provide an investor with a chance to avert the effects of inflation, this kind of ETF may not be appropriate for all portfolios.

Thus, interested investors always should conduct their due diligence and decide whether the fund is suitable for their investing goals.

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