In areas of innovation, agility, research and development, patents or touching the $1 trillion milestone on the exchange, technology companies are leading the way in the markets. Today, the majority of the biggest companies in terms of market cap globally belongs to tech.
Needless to say, these companies are favorites among traders and present good investing opportunities. One way to add this sector to your portfolio is by using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which offer a basket portfolio of such companies at low costs, high transparency and convenience. It's a great way to give yourself a diversified exposure to the technology industry.
There is a huge variety of more than 70 ETFs with this space with more than $80 billion as assets under management. Here’s a look at the top six exchange traded funds by size -- specifically, assets under management (AUM).
1. Technology Select Focus SPDR Fund (XLK)
XLK is the biggest technology ETF today, with just over $20 billion AUM. The fund tracks the Technology Select Sector Index which provides an exposure to companies that represent the technology sector in the S&P 500 Index. The 20-year-old fund has a current portfolio of 68 holdings with Microsoft and Apple holding a combined allocation of 35%. It is followed by an under 10% allocation to all remaining holdings. Together the top ten stocks—Microsoft, Apple, Visa, Intel, Cisco, Mastercard, Oracle, Adobe, Broadcom and Salesforce—add up to 64% of the portfolio. The fund has a low expense ratio and offers high liquidity to investors.
2. Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT)
The next popular fund from this category is VGT. The funds underlying index is the MSCI US IMI Information Technology 25/50 Index which is designed to capture the large, mid and small cap stocks within the information technology sector of the U.S. equity universe. The fund like its benchmark index has a large portfolio of more than 300 stocks and follows a multi-capitalization approach. Its top ten holdings—Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Visa, Cisco, MasterCard, Oracle, Adobe, IBM, and Salesforce have an allocation of approximately 54%. The fund was launched in 2004 and has $19 billion AUM. It can boast of being one of the cheapest funds within its category with an expense ratio of just 0.10%.
3. iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW)
Next is IYW which provides an exposure to U.S. electronics, computer software and hardware, and informational technology companies with Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index as its underlying index. Within the technology space the fund has a portfolio of 151 stocks with a 64% weighting towards the top ten holdings which includes Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Adobe and IBM. The top five stocks add up to around 50% of the portfolio. The fund was launched in the year 2000 and is currently the third largest with $4.23 billion AUM.
4. iShares Global Tech ETF (IXN)
Launched in 2001, IXN provides an access to technology stocks from around the world with S&P Global 1200 Information Technology Sector Index as its benchmark index. The ETF has $2.91 billion AUM and holds around 116 holdings in its portfolio spread across countries such as the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, among others. Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing are the two non-U.S. domiciled companies in the top ten holdings.
5.iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV)
With the fund has a $2.81 billion AUM, IGV primarily invests companies in the software and interactive home entertainment, media and services industries. The fund launched in 2001, closely tracks the S&P North American Expanded Technology Software Index. The fund manages a portfolio of 90 stocks with the maximum exposure to an individual stock currently below 10%. The top five holdings have a 40% allocation while the top ten holdings—Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, Intuit, ServiceNow, Autodesk, Activision, Red Hat and Electronics Arts add up to a 56% weighting.
6.First Trust NASDAQ 100 Technology (QTEC)
The next fund on the list is QTEC, which invests across the 39 companies from the technology space which constitute the NASDAQ-100 Index. The fund was launched in 2006 and has $2.5 billion AUM. The fund has an element of geographical diversification through exposure to China and Netherlands. The concentration ratio of the fund is low with about 14.21% allocation towards the top five holdings. The allocation towards the top ten stocks—Advanced Microdevices, NetEase, NVIDIA, Micron, Autodesk, Western Digital, Facebook, Microchip, Synopsys and Applied Materials—adds to 27.56%.
Rounding out the Top 10:
Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC), First Trust Technology AlphaDEX Fund (FXL), First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKKY) and Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF (RYT) are the next four ETFs in terms of fund size providing a basket exposure to the tech space.
The rankings based on latest assets under management, fund facts based on fact sheets. The author has no position in any stocks mentioned. Investors should consider the above information not as a de facto recommendation, but as an idea for further consideration.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.