There are so many ETFs out there that it can be difficult for investors to select which ones may be right for their portfolios. In truth, you will need to pick and choose very carefully to find the ones that align with your specific risk tolerance, your investment plan and your asset allocation.
Since I’m not a financial adviser, I don’t know those answers for your particular situation. So I’m going to make suggestions for the three top large-cap growth ETFs for general categories of investors: aggressive, conservative and all-around.
These selections should be examined every year to see that each ETF retains its style and approach, just as you would check in on a mutual fund.
I think the best large-cap growth ETF for all-around investment is the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: IWF). I like the diversification with its 680 holdings, and the fact that it holds plenty of well-known names. The ETF is up 3.8% year-to-date, versus 0.88% for the S&P 500. It has outpaced the S&P 500 over the past five years, with an 86% return to the index’s 72%.
The breakdown is 19% consumer discretionary, 14% health care, 28% information technology, 5% financials, 12% industrial, 5% energy, and bits and pieces of other sectors. It has an expense ratio of only 0.2%.
For the more conservative investor, I tend to look to Vanguard products. In this case, it’s Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: VOOG). It’s a large ETF, with a strong asset base, but only carries a 0.15% expense ratio. VOOG is up 2.5% year-to-date, ahead of the S&P 500.
I like VOOG for its sector allocation, with 25% consumer staples and discretionary, 19% health care, 8% industrials, 3% energy, and the rest divided among financials, IT, materials, telecom and utilities.
VOOG is well-diversified, with 322 stocks and a median market cap of $96 billion. Its P/E ratio of 23 is higher than I’d like, but these are growth stocks, so it’s expected to be higher than the S&P 500. It’s not an unreasonable valuation.
It may seem counterintuitive, but for aggressive investors First Trust NASDAQ 100 Ex-Technology Sector Index (NASDAQ: QQXT) is the way to go. You might think I’d demand technology to be included in an aggressive ETF, but the reason I don’t is because technology is more volatile. So if there’s an ETF that delivers great returns without the volatility associated with tech holdings, I prefer it.
QQXT is up 5.8% year-to-date and 125% over the past five years, outperforming the 72% return of the S&P 500. It has a reasonable expense ratio of 0.6%.
You’ll find the top non-tech names here: Kraft Foods Group (NASDAQ: KRFT), Electronic Arts (NYSE: EA), Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) and Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS).
The top 10 holdings take up only 17% of the ETF, with only 59 other holdings. The narrow focus is another reason it’s best for aggressive investors.
Dividends for Every Month of the Year
If you’re looking for just one dividend stock to round out your income stream, consider a little-known company that pays out dividends 12 months of the year.
Click here to see the full details of this company in my Dividend Calendar…