The market has not been kind in 2022 to investors in general, but it has been particularly rough on tech stock investors. As it turns out, high inflation and rising interest rates still tilt people's interests toward immediate income rather than the potential of faster long-term growth that tech stock typically offer.
With Federal Reserve Chairman Powell's recent remarks making it clear he intends to remain aggressive when it comes to fighting inflation, chances are good that those trends will continue. In that context, it's easy to feel like you've been burned by your tech stock investments. While it's hard to deny the incredible influence that tech companies have over our lives and economy, you might want to try these three ETFs instead of keeping all your money in tech.
No. 1: A less tech-heavy way to invest in the S&P 500
Typical S&P 500 index funds are market-capitalization weighted, which means the biggest companies have the most influence over the fund. The challenge that brings is that it means a small handful of very large, technology-focused companies dominate the fund. Indeed, around 25% of a typical S&P 500 index fund is made up of tech stocks.
The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP 0.27%) still buys shares in the same 500 companies as most S&P 500 funds. Instead of owning each in proportion to its market capitalization, the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF attempts to keep about the same dollar amount invested in each business. That structure means that only around 15% of the fund's holdings are in technology stocks , cutting out nearly 40% of the fund's exposure to the sector.
That different weighting of the same companies makes this ETF a reasonable choice for investors who still want the benefits of indexing, without being over concentrated in tech. No, you won't completely be out of tech by choosing the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF, but you'll be less directly tied to it.
No. 2: Consider a critical industry that is out of synch with current politics
Love it or hate it, the world runs on oil and natural gas, and even the US Energy Information Agency expects their usage to continue to grow for decades to come. In that world, the Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (MLPX -0.26%) might be a tempting choice for those looking for income from that critical, though out-of-favor industry.
The Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF typically invests the general partner securities of pipelines and other midstream energy businesses. Those types of companies tend to generate cash in almost any economy, as they're in the business of moving energy around from where it's produced to where it's processed and used.
Importantly, pipelines tend to be among the most cost-effective ways to move that type of energy around. That helps in a recession if energy demand shrinks, as more expensive forms of energy transportation will likely be cut before pipeline-related transport will.
The political unpopularity of fossil fuels at the moment make it unlikely that the Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF will see much in the way of growth in the near term future. Still, with a yield approaching 5% and an industry that will remain in demand for decades to come, there may very well be a place for pipelines in your portfolio.
No. 3: Look for sustainable, decently high yields
The Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index ETF (VYM 0.23%) invests in U.S.-based companies that pay decent dividends and look like they're capable of continuing that trend. Because technology stocks tend to not be among the highest yielders out there, they only make up around 8% of the fund's constituent holdings.
Despite the fund's name, its current yield is only around 3% -- decent, but clearly not chasing the highest yields out there. That's important because when a company's yield is too high, it's often a sign that its dividend is at risk of getting cut. The index that the Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index ETF tracks specifically excludes companies that look like their dividends will be eliminated, which helps provide some protection against that risk.
The fund has held up remarkably well in 2022, losing far less than the broader S&P 500 index. That makes sense, given that investors are looking for income given the current economic situation. Of course, there are no guarantees that the future will wind up like the past, but as long as investors are prioritizing income over growth, this fund has a shot of holding up well.
There's a whole market out there beyond pure technology
The transformative power of technology is undeniable, and there's no question that tech will continue to play a huge role in our economy and everyday life. Still, if you've been burned in 2022 by a portfolio that was too tech heavy and would like to diversify, these three ETFs are reasonable candidates to consider. Make today the day you put your plan in place to better balance your portfolio, and should the rest of 2022 be as tough on tech as the start of it was, you'll be glad you did.