How healthy are exchange traded funds (ETFs) focused on the medical world for your portfolio?

Many of the ETFs from this field have experienced the ups and downs of the broader market of late so far this year.

  • iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare Provider Fund (IHF), down 24.8% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Pharmaceuticals Fund (IHE), down 11.3% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI), down 14.8% year-to-date

The iShares S&P Global Healthcare Index Fund (IXJ) does provide broader exposure to the health care of other countries such a England, Switzerland and France, but it’s still bedridden at -10.7% year-to-date.

What’s the prognosis, doc? Well, while it isn’t terminal, analysts feel that it will be some time before we see a turnaround within the healthcare sector. Momentum may not be in your favor, but they do represent long-term bargain buys.

Billy Fisher for TheStreet reports that the biotechnology sector may be harder to foretell. While the sector gives ample room for growth because of the ability of companies to get new approval for existing drugs, investors must be patient. This sector moves to its own beat instead of that of the rest of the market, which gives it growth advantage over healthcare.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.