Largest & Smallest ETF Handles

Share prices aren’t an investment consideration anymore, but they are interesting to look at.

sumit
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Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
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Edited by: Sumit Roy

Share prices don’t matter all that much anymore. It used to be that companies would often split the price of their stocks, making them more “affordable” for the average investor.

That doesn’t happen so much anymore. According to Charles Schwab, the number of share splits by S&P 500 companies decreased from 102 in 1997 to seven in 2016.

Of course, the share prices themselves are just an accounting mechanism and don’t have anything to do with market value per se. Only when combined with the number of shares outstanding do they mean something (share price times shares outstanding equals market capitalization).

When a company splits its shares—for example, two-for-one—the share price halves, while the number of shares outstanding double, resulting in the same market value.

Pricing Behavior
Still, even though share prices don’t have any impact on the fundamentals of a company, in the past, they were still a factor that influenced individual investor purchasing decisions.

When contemplating investments, a large share price could dissuade an investor who has $100 or even $1,000 to invest from buying a particular stock. 

The advent of fractional share trading has diminished those concerns for even the smallest investors. Now, even the $2,600 price tag for Amazon or the $1,450 price per share for Alphabet aren’t much of a consideration.

The same goes for ETFs.

The prices per share, or handles, if they mattered even a little bit before, matter even less now in a world of fractional share trading. Still, there is an argument to be made that large handles (the price of a share rounded down to a whole value) provide some prestige to a stock or fund.

But handles are interesting to look at. Here are the ETFs with the largest share prices and followed by the ETFs with the smallest share prices:

 

ETFs With The Largest Handles

TickerFundShare Price
ONEQFidelity NASDAQ Composite Index Tracking Stock386.94
FLGECredit Suisse FI Large Cap Growth Enhanced ETN357.02
FBGXUBS AG FI Enhanced Large Cap Growth ETN356.70
MDYSPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust347.62
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF322.02
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust320.85
DGAZVelocityShares 3X Inverse Natural Gas ETN317.89
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF294.98
JKHiShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth ETF291.17
IGMiShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF275.78

Share prices as of June 9, 2020

 

ETFs With The Smallest Handles

TickerFundShare Price
RJNElements Rogers International Commodity Index-Energy TR ETN1.39
FNGDMicroSectors FANG+ Index -3X Inverse Leveraged ETN2.62
GRUElements MLCX Grains Index-Total Return ETN2.72
PXJInvesco Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ETF3.18
DZZDB Gold Double Short ETN3.59
DRIPDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bear 2X Shares3.60
RJIElements Rogers International Commodity Index-Total Return ETN4.00
LABDDirexion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares4.48
HDGEAdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF4.48
REMLCredit Suisse X-Links Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN4.54

Share prices as of June 9, 2020

 

No Handle Too Big
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, with a $300,000 handle, is an obvious example. So, too, are the tech giants with their thousand-dollar share prices. A high price suggests that a stock or ETF has performed well over time and/or been around for a long time.

There are artificial ways to getting to a high share price (a reverse split, for example), but absent that, a high price may be an indicator of good returns and longevity.

To be sure, a share price is not a top factor to consider, or even one to consider at all, when making investment decisions.

A good investor simply doesn’t care what price an ETF trades at in and of itself (which is different than whether the price is rising or falling).

​Email Sumit Roy at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @sumitroy2

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.