3 Weight-Loss ETFs to Profit From the Obesity Drug Boom

Stocks to buy

People are interested in ETFs for weight loss because of Oprah’s TV show “Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution,” which was about weight loss drugs. A lot of people are upset that she’s talking to patients and doctors about using prescription drugs to lose weight, but it’s still causing a stir.

It’s also big news that Oprah is leaving the Weight Watchers board. The fact that she backs drugs like Mounjaro, Wegovy and Ozempic shows how times are changing for everyone. It’s always been hard for the famous talk show host to lose weight. But because she was so famous, everything she suggested to lose weight sold out very quickly.

In other words, we see the same pattern with drugs that help people lose weight. Because of Oprah’s ABC special, the dieting business and the practice of dieting are changing. This is like what happened when she really tried to lose weight in 1998. The only difference is the methodology she’s adopting.

But be careful while Oprah fights the social shame that comes with losing weight with Ozempic. Not only does Ozempic have side effects, but a lot of new medicines need testing.

Then, what is the safest thing to do with this trend? Investing in the best exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for weight loss can open up a lot of health and fitness-related doors for you. While Oprah plugs diet pills, let’s look at three exchange-traded funds that can help you lose weight.

iShares US Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF)

Source: Shutterstock

The iShares US Healthcare Providers ETF (NYSEARCA:IHF), up 11% in the past year, boasts a competitive expense ratio of 0.40% and a dividend yield of 0.78%. It is riding the Oprah momentum, which is turning back the clock to the late 90s.

The expense ratio indicates the amount you will pay to own a fund over the course of a year. In this case, it is pretty reasonable, meaning there are no complaints to management. The yield might seem a bit ordinary, but this is an ETF we are talking about.

At the end of last year, IHF divided its shares five-to-one to reduce their value and increase the number of outstanding shares, which improved accessibility.

One of the oldest weight-loss ETFs available, IHF focuses on the healthcare and nursing home industries and tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Health Care Providers Index.

Its reduced volatility in correlation with the market overall as a whole gives it the attributes of medium risk, which exhibits a beta of 0.72 and standard deviation of 17.20% over a 3-year historical time period.

IHF’s portfolio’s top holdings, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Humana (NYSE:HUM), at 22%, 4%, 10% and 4%, respectively, offer many wellness programs that can ride the current Oprah momentum to the bank. These programs include diet plans from Humana, over-the-counter weight loss supplements at CVS MinuteClinics, nutritional counseling from Cigna and weight management plans through UnitedHealth’s Optum.

The Obesity ETF (SLIM)

Source: WHYFRAME / Shutterstock.com

Janus Henderson’s The Obesity ETF (NASDAQ:SLIM) tracks the performance of global companies offering obesity-related services, but the twist is that several fields fall under this category. Just as we saw with IHF, there is no singular way to invest in healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, plus-size clothing, weight loss programs and medical devices.

The Obesity ETF invests at least 80% of its net assets in the stocks that comprise the Solactive Obesity Index. Its lack of diversity compared to other exchange-traded funds means it may favor investing in specific companies or industries.

At $11.63 million in net worth, SLIM offers a dividend yield of 0.57%. The fund’s disastrous losses as of late — a year-to-date total loss of 11.27% — are due to the unpredictable nature of the healthcare industry.

Companies involved in treating diabetes and obesity account for about three quarters of SLIM’s assets. Regarding ownership, Novo Nordisk‘s (NYSE:NVO) 20% and DexCom‘s (NASDAQ:DXCM) 13% are at the top.

As a weight loss product manufacturer, SLIM owns Novo Nordisk and Herbalife (NYSE:HLF). Obese adults can take one of two weight management medications made by industry giant Novo Nordisk: Wegovy or Saxenda. Among Herbalife’s many health and weight loss aids are protein shakes, bars and teas. It’s worth remembering that Wegovy is a name that has been popping up a lot ever since Oprah decided to create a major cultural boost for these prescription drugs.

Several prominent companies are part of its portfolio, including Tandem Diabetes Care (NASDAQ:TNDM), Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ:PODD), and DexCom. Weight loss aids made by these companies, which boost metabolic health, make managing diabetes easier. Healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers all have an indirect interest in helping with weight management.

VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)

Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com

VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF‘s (NASDAQ:PPH) focus on pharmaceuticals makes for an interesting analysis. It’s the main beneficiary of the Oprah-led boom.

The ETF has increased by more than 7% to $85.44 in the last year. Shares are issued and redeemed on demand by this open-ended investment company. On Mar. 31, net assets and share class size totaled $543.2 million.

With a net expense ratio of only 0.36%, this shows the fund’s operational expenditures are managed effectively.

VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF’s portfolio helped develop weight-loss and treatment drugs. Tigepatide, sold as Mounjaro, has made Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) a weight loss pharmaceutical giant. Tirzepatide, first approved for type 2 diabetes, regulates hunger and insulin secretion by blocking GLP-1 and GIP receptors. This medication can reduce weight by 20% in overweight or obese non-diabetics.

Novo Nordisk has benefited from semaglutide, which is sold as Wegovy for obesity and Ozempic for diabetes, two names linked to Oprah and her new attitude toward weight management. This chronic weight management program helps patients lose 15%, making Wegovy famous.

On the date of publication, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.

Articles You May Like

The 50% Upside Club: 3 Overlooked Growth Stocks to Buy Now
3 Stocks That Should Be the Backbone of Your Retirement Portfolio
Feeling the Pinch: 7 Restaurant Stocks Most at Risk as Consumers Dine Out Less
7 Monthly Dividend Stocks for Your May Buy List
Cash Out Before the Crash: 3 Stocks to Sell Before June