This ETF offers targeted exposure to U.S. companies operating in the software and services sector, delivering precise access to a relatively narrow corner of the technology industry. Within this sub-sector, holdings are actually somewhat balanced; XSW includes exposure to application software stocks, Internet software and services companies, data processing firms, systems software manufacturers, IT consulting companies, and makers of home entertainment software. Given this targeted focus, XSW probably has limited appeal to investors looking to build a long-term portfolio; this ETF is likely more useful for those looking to establish a tactical overweight position to this corner of the market.
There are a couple aspects of XSW that are noteworthy. First, this ETF is linked to an equal-weighted index, a feature that results in a balanced portfolio and lack of company-specific concentration. XSW is also very cheap considering the granularity of exposure offered; while there are cheaper broad-based funds in the Technology Equities ETFdb Category (such as XLK and FTQ), this fund is a good bet for investors keeping an eye on fees.
XSW is a very targeted product, and as such isn’t optimal for every investor. But for those seeking exposure to software firms, the index construction methodology and cost efficiency make XSW an appealing option.