102814_Top 10 blog imageContent provided by Sierra Morris, Jr. Investment Research Analyst

Below are our top 10 holdings as of September 30, 2014
102814_Top 10 ETF Holdings

1. VIG: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (5.8%)

  • This fund identifies domestic firms that have increased their dividends for at least 10 years and uses screens to avoid companies that are likely to cut dividends in the future.
  • Using dividend growth as a screen results in higher quality companies – those with stronger balance sheets, lower leverage, more steady earnings, and higher profitability.
  • In addition to having high quality companies that historically have shown higher returns, this fund is paired with a minimal expense ratio of only 0.10%.
  • Top holdings are Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi Co.

 2. IWF: iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (4.3%)      

  • This domestic fund invests in the faster growing portion of the Russell 1000 index.
  • Companies that display growth characteristics typically have strong profitability and attractive outlooks for the future. In addition, these companies tend to have higher analyst coverage.
  • Top holdings are Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Verizon Communications Inc.

3. EFA: MSCI EAFE ETF (3.5%)

  • This fund offers diversified exposure to developed international countries in the large and mid-cap space
  • About two thirds of this portfolio is represented by European firms, while the remainder is made up of companies mostly from Asia (Japan) and Australia.
  • Top holdings are Nestle, Novartis, and Roche Holding.

 4. QUAL: iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor (2.7%)

  • QUAL invests in large and mid-cap domestic companies that display positive fundamentals – high return on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth, and low financial leverage.
  • Over time, stocks with high quality statistics have been shown to provide additional return for lower risk.
  • Top holdings are Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., and Johnson and Johnson.

 5. QQQ: Powershares QQQ Trust Series ETF (2.7%)

  • This funds provides exposure to large cap growth stocks with strong tilts towards technology and consumer discretionary sectors as well as the bio-tech sub sector.
  • This fund provides easy tradability, it is the fourth most actively traded U.S. ETF, and it is the fifth largest U.S. ETF by assets.
  • Top holdings are Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Google Inc.

 6. OEF: iShares S&P 100 ETF (2.6%)

  • This ETF provides a low cost option to investing in 100 of the largest U.S. stocks.
  • 82% of this fund invests in mega-caps which tend to be mature industry leaders with clear, sustainable competitive advantages which result in lower risk.
  • Top holdings are Apple Inc., Exxon Mobile., and Microsoft Corp.

 7. XLK: Technology Select Sector SPDR (2.5%)

  • This fund offers broad domestic exposure to large-cap technology names.
  • According to Morningstar, they believe that 95% of the firms invested in this portfolio have sustained competitive advantages.
  • XLK is very concentrated with about 59% of its portfolio within the top 10 holdings.
  • Top holdings are Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp, and Verizon Communications Inc.

 8. DEM: WisdomTree Emerging Markets (2.4%)

  • This ETF invests in emerging market countries with its constituents based on dividend yields and then further on total dividends paid.
  • Currently, these screens tilt the portfolio toward large-cap names. Additionally, Chinese and Russian stocks account for about 18% of the portfolio each.
  • Top holdings are OAO Gaxprom, China Construction Bank, and OJSC Roseneft Oil Co.

 9. MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity (2.4%)

  • This fund seeks to be similar to a money market fund, but with greater income and total return potential.
  • MINT is actively managed investing mostly in short duration investment grade debt securities.
  • Top holdings are cash equivalents from the U.S. Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

 10. PID: PowerShares International Dividend (2.1%)

  • This fund invests in international companies who have consecutively, for at least five years, increased their dividends. From there, companies are weighted based on their dividend yields.
  • Based on the screening methodology, the fund avoids yield chasing in favor of price and income growth sustainability.
  • Top holdings are Navios Maritime Partners, Vodafone Group, and Teekay LNG Partners.




This material does not constitute any representation as to the suitability or appropriateness of any security, financial product or instrument.  There is no guarantee that investment in any program or strategy discussed herein will be profitable or will not incur loss.  This information is prepared for general information only.  It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report.  Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any security or investment strategy discussed or recommended in this report and should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized.  Investors should note that security values may fluctuate and that each security’s price or value may rise or fall.  Accordingly, investors may receive back less than originally invested.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  Individual client accounts may vary.  Investing in any security involves certain non-diversifiable risks including, but not limited to, market risk, interest-rate risk, inflation risk, and event risk.  These risks are in addition to any specific, or diversifiable, risks associated with particular investment styles or strategies.
An ETF is a type of investment company whose investment objective is to achieve the same return as a particular index, sector, or basket. To achieve this, an ETF will primarily invest in all of the securities, or a representative sample of the securities, that are included in the selected index, sector, or basket.  ETFs are subject to the same risks as an individual stock, as well as additional risks based on the sector the ETF invests in. High quality investments are investments in securities issued by companies with the propensity for higher than average characteristics including higher and more consistent profitability, stronger balance sheets, and higher dividend growth.  The primary diversifiable risk is opportunity risk. International investing is an investment strategy where investors chose global investment instruments.  International investing can be accomplished utilizing a variety of investment vehicles including, but not limited to, ETFs, American Depository Receipts, or a direct investment in a foreign stock exchange.  Diversifiable risks include, but are not limited to, political risk and currency risk.
The Russell 1000 Index measures the performance of the large-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. It is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index and includes approximately 1000 of the largest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership.
Market capitalization, or market cap, refers to the total dollar value of all of an issuer’s outstanding shares of stocks. Generally, large-cap firms consist of companies whose market cap is between $10 Billion and $100 Billion; mid-cap securities generally consist of companies whose market cap is between $2 Billion and $10 Billion; small-cap securities generally consist of companies whose market cap is between $300 Million and $2 Billion.  Additional diversifiable risks for mid-cap companies include, but are not limited to, liquidity risk and business risk.  These two risks are present to an even greater degree for small-cap firms.