SPYG – SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF

SPYG is attractive. Is it the best?

Last Friday I reviewed Nathan Winklepleck’s number one pick for a dividend ETF: MTUM. MTUM has done well as a growth ETF, but it doesn’t really have a dividend focus. The number two ETF in his list is also a high-growth ETF. It is SPYG.

Good, Better Best ETFs

By way of reminder the twelve ETFs in his review were: DGRO, DIA, MTUM, NOBL, PCEF, SCHD, SPHD, SPYD, SPYG, VOO/SPY, and VYM. Each one has attributes that are appealing, depending on your investment perspective and income needs.

Concentration Risk

SPYG has considerable concentration risk in two ways. First, SPYG’s top 10 holdings represent about 44.1% of its total portfolio. The top two, Apple and Microsoft, are over 20% of the total investment. That is why I prefer to own shares of AAPL and MSFT instead of buying an ETF that focuses on the technology sector. As we should expect, any earnings disappointment by any of its top holdings can impact SPYG’s fund price negatively.

Why not buy the biggest investments and skip the ETF?

This growth ETF, not surprisingly, has high exposure to the information technology sector. The information technology sector represents about 35% of its total portfolio. Cyclical sectors have less representation. This means there is less impact from investments that have more downside due to various market factors. Utilities are less than 1% of the total.

Dividend Story

As already noted, SPYG isn’t really a dividend focused fund. For those of us in retirement, a yield of 1.12% isn’t attractive. Remember that share price appreciation is only valuable when you sell the investment. You only have paper profits until you sell. Dividends are money in your pocket for reinvesting or for living expenses. SPYG’s payout ratio is very sustainable at about 6%. I would like this fund better if the payout ratio was at least 20%. The dividend growth and years of growth are appealing: 11.55% is the five-year growth rate and it boasts 10 years of dividend growth.

SCHD is better for a dividend-focused investor from a yield perspective.

FTEC versus SPYG

Once again, I would pick the Information Technology sector fund FTEC over SPYG. FTEC has a lower dividend yield, but its five-year growth is 180% against SPYG’s 97%. If you want growth, I believe a solid focus on technology is the best solution. Here is one way I compare ETFs using Seeking Alpha.

Full Disclosure

We don’t own SPYG and currently don’t have plans to buy this ETF. Cindie and I own more than 1,500 shares of ETF VYM as a more well-rounded investment with dividend growth.

Source for the list of ETFs

Nathan Winklepleck, CFA, Amazon #1 Best Selling author, portfolio manager. Author of Dividend Growth Machine.

Nathan Winklepleck’s analysis is very helpful.
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