Take the Nasdaq Leave the Tech

There are plenty of “ex” ETFs on the market today. Some exclude countries like the U.S. or Japan. Others exclude certain sectors, often financials.

The exclusionary approach allows investors to stay away from what may be poor performers within a specific market. When executed properly, the concept can prove rewarding for investors. Still, some “ex” ETFs do not receive the attention they should.

Take the example of the First Trust NASDAQ-100 Ex-Technology Sector Index Fund (NasdaqGS: QQXT), an ETF with an easy-to-understand concept. Take the NASDAQ-100 Index, an index made popular by its heavy allocations to technology companies like Apple (NasdaqGM: AAPL) and Microsoft (NasdaqGM: MSFT), and leave out those tech darlings.

QQXT also tracks an equal weight index, making for comparisons with the First Trust NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Fund (NasdaqGS: QQEW). QQEW does include the same tech stocks found in the NASDAQ-100 Index, but on an equal-weigh basis.[Nasdaq 100 ETF Takes Even-Handed Approach]

In what might be a surprise to some investors, QQXT has outpaced QQEW this year as well as the Nasdaq Composite.  So solid has been QQXT’s performance this year that at the end of the third quarter, the fund ranked as the fifth-best market-based ETF, according to Dorsey Wright & Associates. 

Pivotal to QQXT’s success, at least this year, is that while the ETF excludes tech stocks, it does not classify Internet stocks as tech. Names like Amazon (NasdaqGM: AMZN) and Priceline (NasdaqGM: PCLN) are found in the ETF because the Industry Classification Benchmark System views those stocks and related fare “consumer services” firms. [Internet ETFs; Rising Rates Sanctuary]