The Market Vectors Wide Moat ETF (NYSEArca: MOAT), an ETF that espouses thevirtues of investing in companies with sustainable and wide competitive moats, a gospel preached by none other than Berkshire Hathway’s (NYSE: BRK-A) Warren Buffet, has removed the Oracle of Omaha’s stock from its 21-stock roster.
MOAT, which has a high turnover ratio compared to most passively managed ETFs, removed eight other holdings in addition to Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BKR-B) “B” shares. The ETF’s underlying index, the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index (MWMFTR), also added nine new constituents at its most recent rebalancing.
MOAT frequently makes anywhere from four to nine additions and deletions to its portfolio at each quarterly rebalance. The ETF tracks an index that Morningstar says the index uses the firm’s proprietary methodology to identify companies with long-term, advantages, which allows companies to earn sustainable excess economic profits, as measured by the return on invested capital relative to the company’s cost of capital. [Wide Moat ETF Delivers Big Performance, Growth]
MOAT’s high turnover ratio should not be viewed as a black mark on the ETF. Not when the fund has outperformed the S&P 500 470 basis points over the past two years. Additionally, MOAT is not pricey when considering that turnover ratio and measuring it against actively managed mutual funds. MOAT charges just 0.49% per year, according to Market Vectors data.
There is also no denying investors have warmed to MOAT in significant fashion. The ETF had just over $545 million in assets under management on Jan. 8, 2014, but that number has since swelled to $842 million as of Oct. 1.
In addition to removing Berkshire, MOAT’s index deleted several stocks owned by Buffett’s financial services conglomerate, including Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Costco (NasdaqGS: COST), MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO).
Other deletions are as follows: Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), Eaton Vance (NYSE: EV) and Amgen (NasdaqGS: AMGN).