There are several ways one can diversify their holdings within any market. An investor could simply research which firms are out there within a particular industry, like the 3D printing industry, and invest small amounts into each by purchasing shares. The easiest way, however, would be to find a fund that’s going to do all the work for you, managed by someone who likely has more experience in the market than you do.
As we’ve mentioned previously, there is currently only one main fund which concentrates their efforts primarily on the 3D printing space, the 3D Printing and Technology Fund (TDPNX), managed by CEO Alan M. Meckler, and his son John M. Meckler. Both men, whom I’ve personally met on numerous occasions, are incredibly knowledgable when it comes to the 3D printing industry. Alan is the CEO and Chairman for MecklerMedia, the company that is responsible for all the Inside 3D Printing trade shows, while John is a business development executive for the same company.
While the fund is currently down approximately 13% YTD, it has outperformed the two largest pure play 3D printing stocks, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), significantly. 3D Systems is down over 44% on the year, and Stratasys down a staggering 58.5%.
“The performance of the fund has been hurt by the decline of many 3D Printing related stocks over the last 18 months,” CEO Alan Meckler told 3DPrint.com. “However we note that the Wohlers report indicates 34% plus CAGR for the 3D Printing industry (and the Wohlers report does not include several sectors including Align Technology etc.). Therefore we believe that ‘steady wins the race.'”
Today the fund is making a major change, one that the Mecklers feel should increase opportunity for investors. Up until this point, the fund allocated at least 80% of their capital to what they defined as ‘3D printing companies’ and ‘technology companies’. Today this changed, along with the fund’s official name. The fund’s new name will now be ‘3D Printing, Robotics and Technology Fund,’ while going forward 80% of their capital will now be allocated to what they define as ‘3D printing companies,’ ‘robotics companies’ and ‘technology companies.’
While the fund won’t be quite as heavily weighted towards 3D printing-related stocks, what this move will do is provide management more of an opportunity to capitalize on what they are most knowledgeable about. In additional to being thoroughly involved within the 3D printing space via their MecklerMedia operations, both Alan and John work with dozens of robotics companies putting on numerous RoboUniverse Conferences and Expo events throughout the year for MecklerMedia.
“3D printing continues to be a rapidly growing field as it disrupts traditional manufacturing and aids the growth of new medical, dental and bioprinting horizons,” stated Alan Meckler. “Adding Robotics to our Fund name is logical as the robotics field is growing rapidly too and there are many sectors where the lines are blurred between 3D printers and robots. In fact 3D printers are essentially robots. We are excited to have one of the few investment vehicles in the mutual fund space that targets these two dynamic areas of growth.”
Whether or not the 3D printing market has hit a bottom can be debated; however, the entire industry seems to be approaching a point in which one has to question if it’s oversold. The 3D Printing, Robotics and Technology Fund may be the perfect place to park some money to take advantage of the current trading atmosphere, as well as a long-term bet on the future of the 3D printing and robotics industries, which are sure to see tremendous growth over the next decade.
Let us know if you have invested in this fund or any 3D printing-related securities for that matter. Discuss in the 3D Printing, Robotics and Technology Fund forum thread on 3DPB.com.