NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Instant diversification is one of the biggest benefits that come with using exchange-traded funds.
It's still possible to use these products to gain ample exposure to stock market darlings. Below, I've highlighted funds that allow investors to tap into three popular names across the technology sector.
Setting aside 15% of its portfolio to
is one of the strongest options fans can turn to in order to gain access to this company. QQQ is not just a popular choice for Apple followers, however. On the contrary, when paired with other broad index ETFs, the fund can also make for an attractive core component in a well-diversified portfolio.
Although technology represents the largest component of the QQQ's underlying index, companies from various sectors including consumer goods, healthcare, and industrials also make a respectable showing.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector Index Fund
is another ETF that boasts heavy exposure to the Cupertino, California-based technology goliath. The firm is the fund's largest component, representing 18% of its portfolio.
Due to its top-heavy nature and dedicated exposure to the technology sector, IYW will likely be vulnerable to market turmoil. The fund is best utilized as a small niche position.
Investors interested in targeting search giant
should have their sights set on the
First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund
. Designed to provide individuals with exposure to top-tier Internet players, the fund lists Google as its largest holding, representing over 10% of its portfolio.
Other notable firms hailing from this index include
. In the past, the fund has listed
as a top 10 holding. In recent weeks, however, the fund's exposure to the firm has been pared back, forcing it out of the top ranks.
In the past I have turned to FDN has a way to take profit as consumers increasingly turn to online destinations to satisfy their shopping needs. However, as the Internet becomes increasingly engrained into our daily lives, the companies underlying the fund have benefited and FDN has grown from being a small niche holding to a portfolio staple.
While FDN is an attractive option for Google fans, I encourage investors to also keep this product on the watch list as a way to take advantage of our growing reliance on smart phones, tablets, and other tech gadgets.
Although not as flashy as other technology leaders, semiconductor giant
has witnessed impressive action in 2011. From an earnings perspective, the company has enjoyed a string of stand-out performances. Most recently, according to the firm's July quarterly earnings report, it was able to surpass $13 billion in revenue for the first time.
It will be interesting to see what is in store for this firm as we move ahead. ETF investors looking for a strong way to target Intel should turn to the
iShares PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund
While there is a wide collection of semiconductor ETFs available, SOXX is the best option for those looking to gain ample exposure to top industry players. INTC accounts for nearly 9% of its portfolio. Other notable components include
Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management PowerShares QQQ and First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund.