Apple & Growth ETFs

Growth-oriented exchange traded fund investors take on a good amount of exposure to tech giant Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL).

“Apparently, what growth means varies very widely from ETF to ETF,” Melissa Brown, senior director of applied research at Axioma, said in an Institutional Investor article. “Basically, you’ve got two different definitions of growth. One is more stable growth, which would be steady and not extremely volatile. Then there’s the cyclical growth, where growth may be higher now but probably contains more volatility.”

Growth stocks typically see above-average earnings relative to the overall market. Additionally, these companies would hold back on dividends but reinvest retained earnings into capital projects. Most tech stocks fall under this category.

ETFs like the Vanguard Growth Index Fund (NYSEArca: VUG), Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF (NYSEArca: SCHG) and SPDR S&P 500 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: SPYG) lean toward Apple. AAPL is 6.0% of VUG, 5.7% of SCHG and 6.1% of SPYG. [Tech ETFs Surging on Apple]

The Nasdaq-100 ETF PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which has a 13.2% position in AAPL, has been recently outperforming the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY), which has 3.1% in AAPL. QQQ gained 3.4% over the last three months while SPY was up 0.7%. However, the outperformance could be slowing, with the relative performance of the Nasdaq-100 to the Dow Jones Industrial Average beginning to level out, writes Greg Harmon for Dragonfly Capital.

On the other hand, some growth ETFS have no exposure to Apple due to the way the underlying indices are structured, including First Trust Large Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FTC), Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth ETF (NYSEArca: RPG) and PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio (NYSEArca: PWB). For instance, RPG tilts toward momentum stocks that have done well recently.