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Top 10 Large-Cap ETFs


This posting features a comprehensive review of the large-cap ETF sector. In this category there aren't many more ETFs than just the 10 we've featured given the tsunami of ETF issuance. Nevertheless, to simplify matters for investors, and to be consistent with previous practices, we're still just highlighting what we feel are the top 10 choices . Doing so makes sorting through the sector more manageable for most investors.

The issues chosen represent a broad cross section of domestic issues from a variety of sponsors. Most issues are seasoned being issued long ago with substantial assets under management and good liquidity. We're not necessarily recommending one issue over another; rather we're just trying to feature those issues that aren't repetitive. If other choices are available these are mentioned where applicable.

Within this sector we have combined choices for growth, value and a blend of these styles. There are occasional periods when value outperforms growth and vice versa; but, even over even intermediate periods they tend to achieve the same total return. Others may disagree about this conclusion citing studies demonstrating superior returns of one to the other. However, most of these experiences are transitory and are driven by various economic conditions including monetary policies and the overall market environment. But, some investors wish to pursue what they believe is a more conservative value approach while others prefer growth both choices are understandable. Again, you are free to choose what suits your own style and objectives best.

For those wishing to hedge or speculate ProShares and DirexionShares offer inverse short and leveraged long/short issues.

SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) tracks the S&P 500 Index. It holds the distinction of being the original ETF created by Nate Most for the AMEX in January 1993. (Nate passed away at the age of 90 in 2004 a few months after we had a wonderful lunch with him. The expense ratio is only .09%.  AUM (Assets under Management) equal $92 billion and average daily trading volume is over 280M shares. As of mid-September 2011 the dividend is $1.92 making the current yield 2% and YTD return -4.33%.


Competitive choices would be IVV (iShares S&P 500 ETF) and could also include (VIG (Vanguard Large Cap Blend ETF) among others.

Data as of September 2011

SPY Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.27%
  2. Apple, Inc. (AAPL): 3.19%
  3. International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 1.87%
  4. Chevron Corp (CVX): 1.78%
  5. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 1.77%
  6. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 1.62%
  7. The Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.59%
  8. General Electric Co (GE): 1.55%
  9. AT&T Inc (T): 1.51%
  10. The Coca-Cola Co (KO): 1.45%

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