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Should You Invest in the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH)?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Technology - Semiconductors segment of the equity market, the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/20/2011.

An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Sector ETFs also provide investors access to a broad group of companies in particular sectors that offer low risk and diversified exposure. Technology - Semiconductors is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 11, placing it in bottom 31%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Van Eck. It has amassed assets over $14.34 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Technology - Semiconductors segment of the equity market. SMH seeks to match the performance of the MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index before fees and expenses.

The MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in semiconductor production and equipment.


Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.51%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Nvidia Corp (NVDA - Free Report) accounts for about 18.37% of total assets, followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co L (TSM - Free Report) and Broadcom Inc (AVGO - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 72.25% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, SMH has added about 16.12%, and is up roughly 67.29% in the last one year (as of 02/13/2024). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $117.12 and $203.85.

The ETF has a beta of 1.36 and standard deviation of 33.76% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 27 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.


VanEck Semiconductor ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, SMH is an excellent option for investors seeking exposure to the Technology ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD - Free Report) tracks S&P Semiconductor Select Industry Index and the iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX - Free Report) tracks PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index. SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF has $1.50 billion in assets, iShares Semiconductor ETF has $11.59 billion. XSD has an expense ratio of 0.35% and SOXX charges 0.35%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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