Should You Invest in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV)?

Should You Invest in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV)?

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Healthcare – Broad segment of the equity market, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/16/1998.

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare – Broad is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 12, placing it in bottom 25%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by State Street Global Advisors. It has amassed assets over $30.72 billion, making it the largest ETF attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare – Broad segment of the equity market. XLV seeks to match the performance of the Health Care Select Sector Index before fees and expenses.

The Health Care Select Sector Index includes companies from the following industries: pharmaceuticals; health care providers & services; health care equipment & supplies; biotechnology; life sciences tools & services; and health care technology.


Since cheaper funds tend to produce better results than more expensive funds, assuming all other factors remain equal, it is important for investors to pay attention to an ETF’s expense ratio.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.12%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.37%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Healthcare sector–about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) accounts for about 9.26% of total assets, followed by Unitedhealth Group Incorporated (UNH) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE).

The top 10 holdings account for about 49.91% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, XLV return is roughly 17.76%, and was up about 24.26% in the last one year (as of 10/25/2021). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $101.66 and $136.85.

The ETF has a beta of 0.77 and standard deviation of 21.08% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 66 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

AlternativesHealth Care Select Sector SPDR ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, XLV is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) tracks N/A and the Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) tracks MSCI US Investable Market Health Care 25/50 Index. ARK Genomic Revolution ETF has $7.17 billion in assets, Vanguard Health Care ETF has $16.47 billion. ARKG has an expense ratio of 0.75% and VHT charges 0.10%.Bottom LineTo learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center . Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made.The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?”Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale. Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >> Click to get this free report Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV): ETF Research Reports UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT): ETF Research Reports ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG): ETF Research Reports To read this article on click here. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not […]

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