Ivy ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index Fund


03.31.21

Market Sector Update

  • The S&P 500 Index started the new year by posting solid returns of 6.2% during the first quarter. The market continued to be supported by optimism over the accelerated vaccine distribution and economic data trending in a positive direction. Additional stimulus delivery further bolstered markets, but concerns over the potential for higher inflation pushed the 10-year Treasury yield higher by 80 basis points and contributed to volatility during the period.
  • A notable change in style leadership emerged during the quarter as previously lagging value stocks significantly outperformed richly valued technology shares. Best performing sectors were the cyclical energy (30.9%), financials (16.0%) and industrials (11.9%) stocks. Underperformers for the quarter were consumer staples and information technology stocks which produced returns of under 3%.

Portfolio Strategy

  • The Fund delivered a positive return, and outperformed its benchmark for the quarter. Favorable stock screening and sector allocation impacts drove outperformance.
  • The largest relative contributors at the sector level were information technology, consumer discretionary, and industrials stocks. A sizeable underweight (over 20%) to information technology stocks drove most of the relative outperformance as the sector meaningfully underperformed the broader market for the period, thus helping relative performance.
  • Further adding to results was strong stock performance within the Fund’s discretionary stocks, which outperformed those from the broader market sector, and an overweight to industrials names, which were among the market’s best performers. Partially offsetting these results was the Fund’s overweight to staples stocks which were the market’s weakest performers during the quarter. An underweight to communication services also detracted, which turned in market beating performance.

Outlook

  • The Fund remains focused exclusively on companies within the S&P 500  Index that have grown dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. While not necessarily providing the highest dividend yield, the strategy is based on highquality companies with a consistent track record of dividend growth and provides the potential for attractive long-term outperformance.

The opinions expressed are those of the Fund’s managers and are not meant as investment advice or to predict or project the future performance of any investment product. The opinions are current through March 31, 2021, are subject to change at any time based on market and other current conditions, and no forecasts can be guaranteed. This commentary is being provided as a general source of information and is not intended as a recommendation to purchase, sell, or hold any specific security or to engage in any investment strategy. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific objectives, financial needs, risk tolerance and time horizon. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

The S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® Index measures the performance S&P 500® Index companies that have increased dividends every year for the last 25 consecutive years. The Index treats each constituent as a distinct investment opportunity without regard to its size by equally weighting each company. The S&P 500 Index is a float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that measures the large-capitalization U.S. equity market. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

The Fund is a passively managed index fund designed to track the performance of its stated benchmark index. It does not invest in securities based on the managers' view of the investment merit of a particular security or company, nor does it conduct conventional investment research or analysis or forecast market movement or trends, in managing the assets of the Fund. The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in securities that, in combination, provide exposure to its respective benchmark Index without regard to market conditions, trends or direction.

Risk factors: The value of the Fund's shares will change, and you could lose money on your investment. Large capitalization companies in which the Index and, by extension, the Fund are exposed may go in and out of favor based on market and economic conditions. The Fund's emphasis on dividend-paying stocks involves the risk that such stocks may fall out of favor with investors and underperform non-dividend paying stocks and the market as a whole over any period of time. In addition, there is no guarantee that the companies in which the Fund invests will declare dividends in the future or that dividends, if declared, will remain at current levels or increase over time. The amount of any dividend the company may pay may fluctuate significantly. In addition, the value of dividend-paying common stocks can decline when interest rates rise as fixed-income investments become more attractive to investors. This risk may be greater due to the current period of historically low interest rates. The Fund entails other risks, including imperfect benchmark correlation and market price variance that may decrease performance. While the Fund attempts to track the performance of its stated index, there is no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used to create the Index will result in the Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. The Index may underperform, and the Fund could lose value, while other indices or measures of market performance increase in value. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. These and other risks are more fully described in the Fund's prospectus. Not all funds or fund classes may be offered at all broker/dealers.