Market Overview

How to Buy Shares of Apple for Less Than $30 (AAPL, IXN, QQQV)


When a stock trades up to $600, that's impressive. Problem is when we're talking about Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), and that's exactly what we're doing here, it's also depressing. Depressing because a lot of investors want to get in on the action, but at $600, 100 shares costs $60,000. That's an entire portfolio for some investors.

One option for relief from this quandary comes from ETFs, scores of which offer decent exposure to Apple.

Fortunately, there are no "Apple ETFs" trading for $600. In fact, none of the ETFs that can be used for decent Apple exposure even trade in the triple digits. At least not yet. Here are some more "Apple on the cheap" ETF options to consider beyond the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ), the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLK) and the iShares Dow Jones US Technology Index Fund (NYSE: IYW).

Global X NASDAQ 500 ETF (Nasdaq: QQQV) The Global X NASDAQ 500 ETF debuted in December 2011, so it's still fair to call this fund a new ETF and it might be that rookie status that has folks glossing over this fund as a legitimate way of getting solid exposure to Apple. That's too bad because since QQQV debuted, it's up 17.4% and that's not including today's gains. That performance is triple what QQQ has offered over the same time frame.

What's interesting about QQQV as it pertains to Apple is that the ETF's exposure to the tech juggernaut is increasing. In mid-February Apple accounted for less than 13% of QQQV's weight. As of March 23, Apple accounted for 14.4% of QQQV's weight.

iShares S&P Global Technology Index Fund (NYSE: IXN) The iShares S&P Global Technology Index Fund can be slightly overlooked in the Apple ETF conversation, at least comparison to funds such as QQQ and XLK. That said, with over $647 million in assets under management, IXN is by no means a small ETF and given that the fund is up about 20% year-to-date, it's by no means a slack performer.

As of March 23, Apple accounted for 16.57% of IXN's weight, meaning investors get a decent slice of Apple pie for less than $71. Factor in Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) and a couple of other IXN constituents that make components for Apple products and the ETF's Apple exposure jumps to over 20%.

PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio (NYSE: PSI) No, the PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio does NOT feature any direct Apple exposure. And yes, the ETF is thinly traded. PSI's utility is derived from what semiconductor names it does offer allocations to. Translation: Qualcomm and Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) account for over 10% of this fund's weight and that likely explains why PSI is up more than 15% year-to-date. PSI is a decent backdoor avenue to Apple, especially for less than $17.

Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth Index ETF (NYSE: MGK) As is the case with QQQV, Apple's weight within the Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth Index ETF has been on the rise thanks to the stock's ever-increasing market cap. At the end of the fourth quarter, MGK's allocation to Apple was 7.4%. By the start of March, that weight had jumped to 9%. Home to 176 stocks, MGK is probably the most conservative fund on this list and it's certainly cost-effective with an expense ratio of just 0.12%.


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