Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



A Basket of Tech Moneymakers

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you'd like to add some technology-heavy stocks to your portfolio, the iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (NYSEMKT: IYW  ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.

The basics
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The iShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.47 %.

This ETF has outperformed  the world market over the past three, five, and 10 years, though just barely over the past 10. As with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.

With a low turnover rate of 6% , this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.

Why technology?
Our growing world population will demand more and better high-tech products and services over time, boosting the business of successful technology-oriented companies.

More than a handful of technology-oriented companies  had strong performances over the past year. Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI  ) , for example, surged 26%, deriving a lot of its revenue from government contracts and networking technology, among other things. It's moving deeper into supply chain management via a purchase of British handheld terminal device maker Psion.

Broadcom (UNKNOWN: BRCM.DL  ) gained 9%. It has been making some smart acquisitions that can boost its presence in mobile computing, while going after the Chinese smartphone market, as well. Its products are also found in many iDevices, which should fatten its coffers, though recent reports of softer-than-expected sales there might hurt it. Its lower-cost chips might serve it well against some competitors, though, as efforts are made to push lower-cost phones into developing economies such as China.

Semiconductor fabrication equipment maker Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT  ) rose 5%. It's in a very cyclical business, and has lowered its outlook recently. Meanwhile, it's planning to buy back billions of dollars of its own shares, and patient investors can collect a 3.1% dividend yield at what seems like an appealing entry price.

Other companies didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Corning (NYSE: GLW  ) , which has long specialized in glass, is very much a high-tech company, producing glass for LCD displays and smartphones , and fiber for telecom networks, among other things. Demand for its Gorilla Glass is strong, and its flexible new Willow Glass is also promising. Also boding well is an expected uptick in TV sales. The stock's valuation looks attractive, too.

The big picture
Demand for technology isn't going away anytime soon. A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies -- and make investing in and profiting from it that much easier.

With the explosive growth of smartphones worldwide, many investors thought they would ride Corning's dominant cover glass to massive investment returns. That hasn't played out yet, as mobile growth has failed to offset declines in the company's core business. In this brand new premium research report on Corning, our analyst walks through the business, as well as the key opportunities and risks facing it today. Click here to claim your copy, and receive a full year of updates as key events unfold.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2203047, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 11:28:54 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,228.30 133.47 0.74%
S&P 500 2,159.93 13.83 0.64%
NASD 5,305.71 48.22 0.92%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/27/2016 4:00 PM
AMAT $29.64 Up +0.29 +0.99%
Applied Materials CAPS Rating: ****
BRCM.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Broadcom CAPS Rating: ****
GLW $23.33 Up +0.33 +1.43%
Corning CAPS Rating: *****
IYW $118.70 Up +1.37 +1.17%
iShares Dow Jones… CAPS Rating: **
MSI $76.32 Up +0.37 +0.49%
Motorola Solutions CAPS Rating: **