ETFs market pt. 2

In August, I wrote about trendy ETFs such as a “halt climate change ETF” which has about 40% of its holdings in tech and health insurance stocks. Now that I’m reaching milestone points at work, I wanted to be more deliberate about investments.

This post is not financial advice! It’s a bunch of ETFs and what I read about them. I have no idea where they’re headed in the next year.

  • All of the advice that I received was to find boring, broad investments. I put ~1/6 of an investment into $SPY, which tracks the S&P 500.
  • I picked out some ETFs, and browsed the top 10 holdings of each (relatively easy on ETF.com, ETFdb, and Yahoo Finance) to learn more. A family member described my eventual picks as ‘pie in the sky tech plus commodities’.
  • A typical ETF has 8–10% of assets in their main 1 or 2 stocks, then several at around 3% each. This means that the top ten tell you around 40% of the assets. An example might be $PBJ, which is food and beverage companies, or $UMMA, for Sharia-compliant global companies.
    $URA is an exception; almost half of its holdings are in two stocks relevant to nuclear power.
  • The highest-return ETFs this year is a dangerous list! A lot of these ‘ultra-short’ stocks and currencies and bonds, and move wildly. Most of the non-financial ones are from rising oil/gas prices. I somehow decided to pick up $RISR and $KMLM from this list, but couldn’t make a solid case for them.
    In general if Vanguard or other investment sites have a message pop up warning you / ‘oh no bby what is you doing’ it might be time to look things over.
  • As mentioned in the previous post, it’s possible to invest in SPACs for pre-IPO companies (see options). I had thought that $IPO was involved in this as well, but it’s recent IPOs (e.g. Airbnb from 2020).
  • In broad Asian innovation / emerging markets / hardware ETFs, there’s overlap in their holdings, particularly Taiwan Semiconductor, Tencent, and Baidu. So it’s difficult for me to tally what I’m actually holding, and I don’t want to pay a service such as ETFdb to combine everything or organize by ‘country exposure’.
  • $XDNA is a Crispr-related companies ETF; that was interesting to study just to see who’s in that space.
  • After the Federal Reserve raised rates $SPY went down, but I’m still in the green on $NIB (cocoa), $TYNE (nanotech), $CRIT (rare earths), and other unpredictable things. But it would be ridiculous to put everything in cocoa, or to say that because Chipotle did well this year, that there’s some perpetual wave of burrito-based investments. I have to invest in a lot of things to have a few successes during the current economy plagued by war / shortage / pandemics / TikTok.

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