Siri: What's Your ETF Situation?
To say the iPhone is useful beyond texting and calls diminishes the wildly popular smartphone. And let's be honest, even some anti-iPhone folks out there have to admit Siri is a pretty neat addition to any smartphone's capabilities.
Siri, which has quickly garnered a cult following and frequent pop culture mentions, is property of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and we all know that there are plenty of ETFs with which to gain exposure to that high-flying stock.
However, Siri's popularity may be helping Apple steal market share from rivals and that could force those rivals to develop their own Siri equivalents. That opens the field up a bit to ETFs that are Siri plays or plays on voice command technology at large. Consider the following options.
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index Fund (NYSE: IGV) Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) makes software that is part of the Siri system, but that little factoid isn't enough to have landed the stock in a lot of ETFs. Less than 50 ETFs currently count Nuance among their holdings and the ones that do feature the stock, usually do so with meager percentages. IGV is one of just a few that have a somewhat respectable allocation to Nuance. Up over 14% year-to-date, IGV would be a nice pullback play if it retreats and finds support around $59.
First Trust NASDAQ-100-Tech Index Fund (Nasdaq: QTEC) The First Trust NASDAQ-100-Tech Index Fund is home to 43 stocks, but none receive an allocation above 3.38%, so Nuance checking in at 2.14% is somewhat noteworthy as far as this ETF is concerned. Actually, Nuance receives a bigger allocation in this ETF than Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) do.
Global X NASDAQ 500 ETF (Nadaq: QQQV) This new ETF from Global X offers a small allocation to Nuance, but it's lineup is smartphone heavy. Apple and Google combine for over 17% of the ETF's weight and QQQV is home to scores of other tech names that either currently have smartphone exposure or are looking to break into that market.
iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (NYSE: EWY) Samsung, which is EWY's largest holding at over 19%, is one of Apple's primary smartphone rivals. Translation: There's a fair chance the South Korean technology giant will be looking for its own answer to Siri sooner than later. Beyond the smartphone angle, EWY is one of the better emerging markets ETFs for conservative investors and the fund currently offers some value in the high $50s as a run to the mid-$60s is possible if investors continue embracing emerging markets this year.
First Trust NASDAQ CEA Smartphone Index Fund (Nasdaq: FONE) FONE has had its share of detractors. With a 14% year-to-date gain, we haven't heard much from them. FONE is home to 70 stocks, includng Apple, Google, Samsung and other marquee smartphone players, and over 56% of the ETF's weight is focused on companies based outside of the U.S. For some reason, Nuance Communications is NOT found in FONE's book, but the ETF is still a valid voice command play.
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