Sending your money to the Moon: The intersection of stocks and space

The sharp downturn of the stock market in recent months brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has brought a slew of new casual investors hoping to capitalize on the rebound. Thanks to apps like Robinhood with free commission trading, people from all different walks of life are trying to turn a negative into a positive. Those involved in spaceflight are no exception, whether they’re employed in the industry or just enthusiasts. 

When it comes to investing, the casual investor who just wants to put money in and let it grow will typically invest in industries and companies they’re familiar with. Car enthusiasts will invest in auto manufacturers, travelers in cruise lines and air travel, etc. Spaceflight is no exception. Many companies involved in spaceflight, big and small, are traded on the open market.

Investors who go beyond the casual level will undoubtedly come across ETFs. Simply put, ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are a collection of securities, like stocks or bonds, from different companies in a common industry. The ETF itself can then be traded on the market in the form of stocks. It’s also sometimes used as a measure of how a particular industry is doing. Sometimes they’ll even come with 4-letter ticker symbols that describe what they represent. XWEB is a collection of ecommerce companies, DEFN for defense contractors, GERM for the biotech industry, and so on. Some ticker symbols are obvious but most aren’t.

And what’s the ticker symbol for the spaceflight industry? Yep, you guessed it: ROKT.

The full name is the SPDR S&P Kensho Final Frontiers ETF. However the name is more representative of the represented companies than the ticker symbol. Descriptions of the fund describe it as a collection of companies involved in the exploration of outer space and the deep sea. As far a spaceflight goes, some notable companies in the ETF include Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman and Maxar Technologies to name a few. 

As with any kind of investing, there’s risk involved and ROKT is no different. It’s always helpful to talk to a financial advisor before diving in head first. But it’s nice to know that there’s something out there for all of us no matter what we’re interested in, even on Wall St.

Author’s note: This article isn’t intended to provide financial or investing advice. It’s only purpose is to raise awareness of options available should you wish to start investing. For disclosure: I do not own stock in this ETF, companies in the ETF or any other aerospace company which could be covered in the scope of my writing topics. Any holding of involved securities occurred before my involvement in writing for any news outlet.

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