How to Get an Edge in the Technology Sector

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How to Get an Edge in the Technology Sector

Daniel Cross Apr 21, 2016

For investors looking for growth, the tech sector is arguably the best place to find it. Growth stocks have been beating value stocks for years now and with the bull market still near its historical highs, finding value pickups is more difficult than locating quality growth investments.
The story of the stock market so far this year has been a tale of dichotomy. The year opened up with intense bearish sentiment sending the broader indexes lower for the first two months. High valuations and concerns surrounding oil and the global economy contributed to sectors like technology experiencing a precipitous drop in value. FANG stocks led the decline and many investors began bailing out of their positions in anticipation of a new bear paradigm.

The decline, however, was short-lived. In March, a sudden reversal marked the beginning of a tech resurgence as evidenced by the performance of the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund (VITAX). In February, the fund traded as low as $48.07 but has since risen to its current price of around $56.37 – a staggering 17% increase in just two months’ time. From oversold to being in high demand – the tech sector still offers prime opportunities for growth-oriented investors.

Mutual Funds for the Technology Sector

Investors that want exposure to the technology sector are best served through mutual funds. These diversified packages are managed products that invest in a variety of domestic and international technology stocks, giving investors the best chance of taking advantage of broad trends in the industry. The following two funds are leaders in the industry and offer investors the best opportunities.

T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund

  • Year-to-Date Returns: -1%
  • 10-Year Average Annual Return: 13.25%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.91%

Objective: This innovative technology fund doesn’t just pick large-cap, blue-chip funds for its investors. Rather, it selects stocks based on a thorough screening process that attempts to identify leading technology companies for growth with a healthy underlying business. It generally invests in no fewer than five countries with at least 25% of its portfolio in non-U.S. companies.

Fidelity Select IT Services Portfolio

  • Year-to-Date Returns: 2.35%
  • 10-Year Average Annual Return: 13%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.81%

Objective: This fund consistently finds itself rated among the top-performing funds with some of the highest ratings in the industry. It keeps the majority of its assets in the U.S. with around 12% invested overseas and contains some of the biggest and most-recognized names in the technology space.

The Bottom Line

Like most other industries, the technology sector is sensitive to changes in the value of the dollar – especially the larger companies like Google or Intel that do business internationally. The affected foreign exchange loss may hurt future earnings to some degree. However, emerging new technologies like IoT should help propel this industry past any short-term volatility stemming from macroeconomic difficulties. Interested investors aren’t too late in picking up a technology investment in an industry that’s constantly reinventing itself.

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