With the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLV) up 9% this year, the best performance among the nine sector SPDR exchange traded funds, and healthcare funds dominating lists of the best sector ETFs, the sector is receiving plenty of praise.
As the growth of the smart beta genre of ETFs has taught advisors and investors, there are various ways to skin the ETF cat, including methodologies beyond cap weighting that work at the sector. Starting wit the most, there is equal-weighting and the Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight Healthcare ETF (NYSEArca: RYH) is proof positive that equal weighting has rewarded healthcare investors. The $746.6 million RYH is up 11.6% year-to-date. [A Look at an Equal-Weight Healthcare ETF]
Although RYH is lighter on blue chip pharma names compared to its cap-weighted counterparts, the ETF does not short change investors when it comes to high-quality firms. The ETF is home to several companies with decades-long dividend increase streaks such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT).
What RYH is light on, and it is likely to surprise some investors given the ETF’s impressive showing, is biotech. The ETF devotes just 12.5% of its weight to biotech stocks while most of its cap-weighted counterparts have biotech weights in excess of 20%.
While it looks like RYH is skimping on biotech stocks, the ETF certainly does not skimp on its allocation to healthcare services providers, which is 31.5%. That is an advantage at a time when that industry’s stocks are soaring and mergers and acquisitions speculation for that group is increasing.