When it comes to focusing on “old” versus “new” companies, the ETF product lineup covers both extremes and everything in between. On the one hand, investors who prefer to target companies with a long operating history can opt for the PowerShares NYSE Century Portfolio (NYCC ); as the name suggests, this fund is composed of companies that have been incorporated in the United States for at least 100 years.
On the other end of the spectrum are IPO-focused ETFs, such as the First Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund (FPX ) and the Renaissance Capital Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO ), which offer exposure to the newest publicly traded stocks that are often young companies [see also ETF Performance Visualizer].
Below, we’ll take a look under the hood of several ETFs composed of some of the youngest companies out there. More specifically, we have listed the IPO date for each of the top 10 holdings of three of the compelling funds targeting the Technology Sector.
Social Media Index ETF (SOCL )
SOCL changed the investment landscape when it launched in 2011; it became the first, and to this day the only, exchange-traded fund focusing specifically on companies operating under the “social media” umbrella. Even though its portfolio isn’t entirely a “pure play” on this corner of the technology sector, SOCL is still one of a kind in that it offers exposure to some of the youngest and most innovative companies out there [see Under the Hood of the Social Media ETF].
|Tencent Holdings Ltd.||6/16/2004|
|SINA Corp. (SINA)||4/13/2000|
|NEZON Co. Ltd.||12/13/2011|
|DeNa Co. LTD||2/1/2005|
DJ Internet Index Fund (FDN )
This offering from First Trust tracks about 40 of the biggest companies that generate at least 50% of their annual revenues from the Internet. As such, many of the firms included here are quite young, and not surprisingly, there is some overlap with SOCL’s portfolio [see also 5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Technology ETF].
|Google (GOOG) & Google (GOOGL)||8/19/2004|
Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ROBO )
ROBO is designed to offer exposure to companies that operate in the field of robotics and automation. Given its hyper-targeted approach in accessing the broader technology sector, it’s no wonder that it holds some very young companies. However, this ETF’s portfolio also contains a number of surprisingly old Japanese companies.
|Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)||6/13/2000|
|Cognex Corp. (CGNX)||7/20/1989|
|YASKAWA Electric Corp. (YASKF)||5/1/1949|
|Omron Corp. (OMRNF)||8/22/2006|
|Yushin Precision Equipment Co., Ltd.||12/12/1996|
|Faro Technologies (FARO)||9/18/1997|
|Keyence Corp. (KYCCF)||10/29/1987|
|AeroVironment Inc. (AVAV)||1/23/2007|
|Fanuc Corp (FANUF)||7/13/2000|
The Bottom Line
The ETF roster has grown to well over 1,600 different funds in a few short years. While most of the assets in the industry remain concentrated in just a few “plain vanilla,” index-based vehicles, investors are slowly but surely getting comfortable with some of the more unique products out there. Aside from actively managed ETFs, investors can opt for a number of other unique offerings; whether it’s IPOs, the oldest companies, or emerging-market small caps, there’s more than likely an ETF that offers exposure to whatever corner of the market you’re looking to access.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.