In this episode of ETF Spotlight Podcast, I talked with Brandon Rakszawski, Director, ETF Product Development at VanEck, and Andrew Lane, Chairman, Economic Moat Committee at Morningstar.
We discussed “moat investing” approach and the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT).
The term “economic moat” was popularized by legendary investor Warren Buffett who said that he seeks "economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.”
In simple words, a moat is a unique competitive advantage that allows a company to outperform others in the same industry over time. The Morningstar Wide MOAT Focus Index tracks attractively priced companies with sustainable competitive advantages, expected to last for 20 years or more.
Andrew walked us through the concept of economic moats and the different sources of moat. These sources include intangible assets, cost advantages, switching costs, network effects and efficient scale.
MOAT provides diversified exposure to 40 companies with sustainable competitive advantages. Brandon explained how companies are selected for inclusion in the index.
The fund’s holdings include familiar names like Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) , Walt Disney (DIS - Free Report) and many others that clearly have long-term competitive advantages in their respective industries and are also favorably valued. There are some “hidden gems” too.
For example, not many investors have heard of Compass Minerals (CMP - Free Report) which produces highway deicing salt. We also discussed why Allergan (AGN - Free Report) possesses a wide economic moat. On the other hand, blue-chip darling Apple (AAPL - Free Report) has a narrow moat rating as of now, according to Morningstar. Find out more on the podcast.
Healthcare companies account for almost one-third of the portfolio. The ETF is significantly overweight Healthcare and Consumer Staples and underweight Technology, compared with the broader market. The main reason for divergence in sector exposures is relative valuation.
MOAT has outperformed the broad market since its inception in April 2012. We discussed why this investing approach is more suitable for long-term investors.
If you want to learn about this ETF and other VanEck products, please visit vaneck.com.
Make sure to tune in for next podcast. If you have any comments or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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