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Should You Invest in the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)?

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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market, look no further than the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/20/2011.

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare - Pharma is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 2, placing it in top 13%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Van Eck. It has amassed assets over $211.32 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market. PPH seeks to match the performance of the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index before fees and expenses.

The MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical research and development as well a production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals.

Costs

Cost is an important factor in selecting the right ETF, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts if all other fundamentals are the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.36%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.82%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY) accounts for about 7.28% of total assets, followed by Abbvie Inc (ABBV) and Novo Nordisk A/s (NVO - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 52.36% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 18.99% and is up about 17.56% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 12/20/2019), respectively. PPH has traded between $52.66 and $64.23 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.96 and standard deviation of 14.62% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 26 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.

Alternatives

VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, PPH is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

IShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index and the Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP) tracks Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index. IShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF has $341.12 M in assets, Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF has $386.86 M. IHE has an expense ratio of 0.42% and PJP charges 0.56%.

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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