The Different Flavors Of Surging Tech ETFs

April 25, 2017

The Nasdaq Composite broke a new record today, climbing above 6,000 for the first time, and delivering roughly twice the rally of the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average year-to-date.

The well-known benchmark measures the performance of securities listed on the Nasdaq, including the 100 largest companies comprising the Nasdaq 100—a subindex of the Nasdaq Composite.

While not specifically technology indices, the rise in the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100 in many ways reflects the strength of the technology sector in the past year because technology companies dominate the exposure.

QTEC The Tech ETF Star Performer

ETFs linked to these Nasdaq-listed tech companies come in many flavors, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it isn’t the widely known PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) that’s leading in gains.

In the past 12 months, QQQ has rallied about 25%. That’s a solid return, but only about half the results a fund like the First Trust Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector Index Fund (QTEC) has shelled out—up 47% in one year.

A look at some of the best-performing tech ETFs (that are not segment-focused such as semiconductor ETFs, for example) shows that slightly different approaches to technology deliver slightly different results.

Consider the following five funds, each from a different issuer, as a sampling among the best performers, and their one-year performances:

Chart courtesy of


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