Tech is just too tantalizing to ignore.
Investors are certainly sending that message following
Tuesday's column, in which I cautioned that you shouldn't blindly sell out of your
index funds. I also asked those of you who are selling to tell me where your index money is going.
OK, tech stocks have probably lost some of their appeal this week. The
index was down 10% through Wednesday -- and was continuing to fall on Thursday.
But with many stocks still clinging to quadruple-digit returns, most of you think the S&P 500 index has already gone the way of the
Still, as you'll see, getting the S&P 500 out of your portfolio is sometimes easier said than done.
"I've been reading this index fund crap for years now, while simultaneously watching my managed funds thrash the
Vanguard 500," writes
. "I've held
for 10 years now (obviously not a fad) and it is now worth more than double what I have in the Vanguard 500, despite equal starting points. After last year's ride, the two shall never meet again, I'm positive," Leffel writes.
"No, I won't sell my index fund, but I'm certainly never going to add any more contributions to it. It'll be a nice little historic relic for my retirement, some sentimental favorite that all those logical, pragmatic 20th-century people liked to talk about. Maybe I can store it in the attic with the
"The S&P 500 isn't what it used to be ... the
(and Vanguard equivalent) is the true market, it's got everything. The S&P 500 is a glorified, low-expense, large-cap growth fund -- nothing more," he writes.
Schachter does raise a valid point. The S&P 500 is indeed more of a benchmark for large-cap growth stocks (although it does represent 70% of the U.S. stock market in terms of market cap).
A fund that tracks the Wilshire 5000 will give you broader exposure. That index is built to represent the entire stock market and includes more mid- and small-cap names. But over time, the two deliver relatively equal performance. The indices are up 319% and 320%, respectively, over the past 10 years, according to
Other investors say they are lightening up on their S&P 500 funds and moving the money into the seemingly irresistible tech sector.
"I have sold my Vanguard S&P fund, which was the core of my nonretirement holdings for a long time. I still choose to hold it in my 401(k) where it still remains the best choice offered for the long haul," says
. However, "I have reallocated my S&P funds into three
funds plus some tech bellwethers such as
. I'm very happy with my choices to this point but I'm only six months down this road," Armour writes.
Ironically, Armour's selections -- all well-known, established tech companies -- aren't anything he wasn't already getting in the S&P 500 in the first place. Every one of those stocks is in the index.
The next reader, though a bit more aggressive, made a similar move:
"I'm probably an average investor with average ability to stomach market volatility. We anchor our portfolio with index funds from Vanguard and have not sold or changed our position in any particular fund. However, we did add the Nasdaq 100 tracking stock
Technology Sector Spider
to the mix, while also moving into Vanguard's
Capital Opportunity fund," writes
Again, by adding the Tech Sector Spider, this investor is merely duplicating what he already gets in a S&P 500 index fund (see my
Monday column), though with the Nasdaq 100, he does get 67 different stocks that aren't in the Tech Spider.
That should be enough to satiate some investors.
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Dear Dagen aims to provide general fund information. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell funds or other securities.