How to Invest in Tech ETFs

There have been some massive winners in the tech sector in recent years, but there has been a lot of turbulence, as well. This is especially true after the stock market downturn in early 2023 that left many investors afraid to pick individual tech stocks.

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That’s where ETF investing comes in. There are some excellent ETFs that focus either on the overall tech sector or a specific part of it. These can give you exposure to the high-potential tech space in your portfolio but without the risks associated with investing in any individual companies. In this article, we’ll discuss seven top tech ETFs that are worth a look for investors who may want to add diversified tech exposure to their portfolios.

Seven Best Tech ETFs

Seven Best Tech ETFs

Total assets as of May 22, 2023. Data source: YCharts.
ETF Name
(Ticker Symbol)
Total Assets Description

Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEMKT:VGT)

$53 billion Broad technology sector
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLK) $43 billion Broad technology sector
VanEck Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SMH) $7 billion Semiconductors
iShares Cybersecurity and Tech ETF (NYSEMKT:IHAK) $508 million Cybersecurity stocks
Invesco QQQ ETF (NASDAQMKT:QQQ) $171 billion Nasdaq-listed stocks
Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF (NYSEMKT:RYT) $2 billion Broad technology sector but not weighted
ARK Innovation ETF (NASDAQMKT:ARKK) $7 billion Actively managed with focus on high-growth tech

Let’s take a closer look at each of these exchange-traded funds:

1. Vanguard Information Technology ETF

1. Vanguard Information Technology ETF

Vanguard is well-known for its low-cost index funds. The Vanguard Information Technology ETF certainly falls into this category, with a rock-bottom 0.10% expense ratio. This means that for every $10,000 you invest, your annual fund expenses are just $10.

The ETF tracks a broad index made up of U.S. tech companies of all sizes. However, it is a market cap-weighted ETF, so its top holdings make up a larger proportion of its assets. In fact, the top three holdings — Apple (AAPL 1.41%), Microsoft (MSFT 2.14%), and Nvidia (NVDA 2.54%) — account for almost 50% of the fund’s total assets. In short, the ETF is an excellent choice for investors who want a set-it-and-forget-it way to invest in the overall information technology sector.

2. Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF

2. Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF

The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF is offered by State Street (STT 1.06%). It is very close to the Vanguard fund. It is of similar asset size, has the same 0.10% expense ratio, and tracks a very similar index. In fact, the top holdings of the fund (and their respective weights) are identical to the Vanguard example.

Vanguard and Technology Select are two extremely similar ETFs for getting broad exposure to the information technology sector, and it’s tough to declare one as being better than the other. Investors who want to just invest in “tech stocks” also won’t go wrong with it.

3. VanEck Semiconductor ETF

3. VanEck Semiconductor ETF

Now we’re getting into more specific ways to invest in tech stocks through ETFs. The VanEck Semiconductor ETF tracks an index of semiconductor manufacturers, also commonly known as chipmakers.

Nvidia is the top holding of the fund. Others include Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 2.24%), Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), and Applied Materials (AMAT 4.29%).

The ETF has a slightly higher 0.35% expense ratio. However, it’s important to note that investors should expect to pay a bit more for specialized ETFs like this.

4. iShares Cybersecurity and Tech ETF

4. iShares Cybersecurity and Tech ETF

It seems like there is another high-profile data breach every other week, and the sophistication of threats (especially in the cloud) is increasing. Investing in cybersecurity stocks can be an interesting opportunity for patient, long-term investors, and the iShares Cybersecurity and Tech ETF lets you concentrate your money in this subsector of technology.

The ETF has a 0.47% expense ratio, which is on par with others of similar size and specialization. It aims to track an index of cybersecurity stocks. Top holdings include Fortinet (FTNT 0.89%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW 1.79%), Okta (OKTA 4.17%), and many other names you might recognize.

5. Invesco QQQ ETF

5. Invesco QQQ ETF

No discussion of tech ETFs would be complete without mentioning the Invesco QQQ ETF. It is by far the largest Nasdaq-tracking exchange-traded fund.

The QQQ ETF has a relatively low 0.20% expense ratio and tracks the Nasdaq-100 index. This is essentially an index of the largest stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange. The QQQ ETF isn’t a pure tech ETF; it is just very tech-heavy. About 50% of the fund’s assets are invested in the tech sector, with another 17% in communications stocks. Top positions include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN 4.44%), Alphabet (GOOGL 0.92%)(GOOG 0.87%), and Nvidia.

The Invesco QQQ ETF could be appropriate for investors who want passive exposure to a tech-heavy portfolio but don’t want to be exclusively dependent on the technology sector.


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6. Invesco S and P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF

6. Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF

One major risk factor with all five ETFs discussed so far is that they’re rather top-heavy. Because they are market cap-weighted, and there are several blue chip tech stocks with trillion-dollar market caps, they are highly concentrated in just a few stocks. As an example, Apple makes up more than 20% of both the Vanguard and SPDR ETFs discussed earlier.

The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF aims to create a truly diversified basket of tech stocks. It does this by allocating an equal amount of assets to every company in the index it tracks.

In other words, a relatively small company in the index, such as Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (HPE 4.57%), gets the same exposure as a massive company like Microsoft or Nvidia.

The 0.40% expense ratio is quite reasonable for a unique ETF like this. It could be a smart choice for investors who don’t want their investment returns to be too dependent on any single company’s success.

7. Ark Innovation ETF

7. Ark Innovation ETF

The first six ETFs all have one big characteristic in common — they are all passive funds. In other words, they all are designed to simply track an index of stocks and match its performance over time.

By contrast, the Ark Innovation ETF is actively managed by well-known investor Cathie Wood and her team. Its goal is to beat the market over time, and it is designed to capitalize on innovative and rapidly growing tech companies. The fund’s five largest holdings currently are Tesla (TSLA 4.72%), Roku (ROKU 2.69%), Zoom (ZM 1.77%), Coinbase (COIN 0.09%), and Block (SQ -0.51%)

The idea is to invest the fund’s assets in whatever opportunities seem the most attractive at any given time. By doing so, the Ark Innovation ETF aims to beat the performance of the overall tech sector.

The fund hasn’t exactly been a standout performer in the current bear market. But if you’re looking for the potential of market-beating performance, this ETF is worth a closer look.

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The bottom line on investing in tech ETFs

The bottom line on investing in tech ETFs

As you can see, not all tech ETFs are identical. Some track a broad index of tech companies. Others track more specialized baskets of stocks. Others take an actively managed approach.

The best course of action if you’re thinking about adding some tech exposure to your portfolio is to compare each to see which is best suited to your goals and risk tolerance.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Matthew Frankel, CFP® has positions in and Block and has the following options: short January 2024 $200 calls on Block. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet,, Apple, Applied Materials, Block, Coinbase Global, Fortinet, Microsoft, Nvidia, Okta, Palo Alto Networks, Roku, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Tesla, and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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