David Serchuk, writing for Forbes, thinks tech might be worth a look right now. His starts by comparing the performance of the Nasdaq versus the S&P 500 finding “those who stayed long the Nasdaq over the past 10 years are down 26.1%, but they still beat the Standard & Poor’s 500, down 29.6%. The tech index also beat its much larger brother over shorter time periods. Over five years, it’s down 9.6%, versus 19.9% for the S&P. Over a year, it’s down 26.4%, versus 32.6%. Where it’s really shined, however, is 2009. Year to date, the Nasdaq is up 14.6%, while the larger index has risen but 1%.”
Prefaced with a caveat that some believe the market is overbought, he finds smaller companies are the places to look for investment potential or better yet ETF’s.
David quotes Greg Ghodsi, the head of the 360 Wealth Management Group at Raymond James, as saying “at this time the tech sector on a relative strength basis is stronger than the overall market, so we want exposure.” He recommends exchange-traded funds, which can be an easy way for retail investors to play a sector, without betting the farm on a particular name. ETFs he likes include the: SPDR Semiconductor ETF (XSD), the Technology SPDR (XLK) and the SPDR Morgan Stanley Tech ETF (MTK). All three are strong performers in 2009, but lag in the 25% neighborhood over 12 months.
Of the above noted ETF’s two have direct exposure in the consumer smartphone market. XLK holds 6.68% of it’s assets in Apple (iphone), 9% in AT&T, and 5% in Verizon. MTK has 3.2% in Apple, and 3.79% in RIM (Research in Motion). See the included video below about the future of RIM.