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Is iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Launched on 07/10/2001, the iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Technology ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the market or a particular market segment.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

If you're the kind of investor who would rather try and beat the market through good stock selection, then smart beta funds are your best choice; this fund class is known for tracking non-cap weighted strategies.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

SOXX is managed by Blackrock, and this fund has amassed over $5.69 billion, which makes it one of the largest ETFs in the Technology ETFs. SOXX, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index.

The ICE Semiconductor Index measures the performance of U.S. traded securities of companies engaged in the semiconductor business.

Cost & Other Expenses

For ETF investors, expense ratios are an important factor when considering a fund's return; in the long-term, cheaper funds actually have the ability to outperform their more expensive cousins if all other things remain the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.40% for this ETF, which makes it one of the least expensive products in the space.

The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.27%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Representing 100% of the portfolio, the fund has heaviest allocation to the Information Technology sector.

When you look at individual holdings, Nvidia Corp (NVDA) accounts for about 8.20% of the fund's total assets, followed by Broadcom Inc (AVGO) and Texas Instrument Inc (TXN).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 48.16% of SOXX's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -39.78% so far this year and is down about -25.12% in the last one year (as of 10/04/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $318.73 and $555.63.

The fund has a beta of 1.31 and standard deviation of 38.61% for the trailing three-year period, which makes SOXX a high risk choice in this particular space. With about 35 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.

Alternatives

IShares Semiconductor ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Technology ETFs segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) tracks S&P Semiconductor Select Industry Index and the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) tracks MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index. SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF has $1.01 billion in assets, VanEck Semiconductor ETF has $6.18 billion. XSD has an expense ratio of 0.35% and SMH charges 0.35%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Technology ETFs.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX): ETF Research Reports
 
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD): ETF Research Reports
 
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