Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a popular investment strategy, and generally contain a variety of publicly traded companies under one stock symbol, often with a focus on a specific sector.
Depending on the ETF, investors may be able to track up-and-coming companies, get exposure to top firms or a mix of both. Aside from stocks, some ETFs also track commodities or bonds.
In the healthcare industry, medical device ETFs bring together companies that go through great lengths to develop pharmaceutical-based technology that can improve the lives of patients.
To help investors make decisions when it comes to medical device ETFs, here the Investing News Network provides a brief breakdown of what ETFs are and a look at which medical device ETFs to buy.
What is an exchange-traded fund?
An ETF is similar to a mutual fund and trades like any other regular stock. ETFs are appealing because they give investors the ability to hone in on a specific market area without investing in individual stocks.
Put simply, ETFs centered on stocks reduce the risk of investing by providing a larger pool of companies — instead of going all in for one company, ETFs lets investors pick an area that interests them and suffer less financially if one company under the ETF’s umbrella underperforms. In this way, ETFs allow investors to enter the market confidently and enjoy long-term capital gains.
Like many areas of the life science space, the medical device sector can be volatile, making ETFs a particularly appealing type of healthcare ETF.
For example, if a company in a medical device ETF fails a clinical trial or receives negative feedback from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), those who have invested in the ETF will largely be protected from any share price drop the medical device maker might have.
On the other hand, if a company in a medical device ETF sees a major gain, that increase will also be muted for ETF investors. That is why some investment professionals prefer to take their chances by adding individual stocks to their portfolios.
Medical device ETFs to consider
1. iShares US Medical Devices ETF (ARCA:IHI)
The iShares US Medical Devices ETF was launched in 2006 and tracked 67 holdings as of June 25, 2021. This iShares ETF’s top three constituents by weight are:
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Abbott Laboratories’ medical devices are geared towards vascular disease, diabetes and vision care.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO): The company’s devices are made primarily for experts such as lab workers. Thermo Fisher Scientific has products in a variety of areas, including cellular analysis, synthetic biology and molecular biology.
- Medtronic (NYSE:MDT): Medtronic’s devices aim to relieve pain and restore health. The company’s areas of focus include: diabetes, cardiac and vascular ailments, minimally invasive therapies and restorative therapies.
2. SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETF (ARCA:XHE)
Formed on January 26, 2011, the SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETF tracked 86 holdings as of June 25, 2021. Some of the top holdings in this fund’s portfolio are:
- BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS): Headquartered in Washington, BioLife Solutions is a leading supplier of cell and gene therapy bioproduction tools for the regenerative medicine, biobanking and drug discovery markets.
- Nevro (NYSE:NVRO): This medical device company develops and commercializes treatments for debilitating chronic pain based on a proprietary neuromodulation platform.
- ResMed (NYSE:RMD): San Diego-based ResMed is a medical equipment company that provides cloud-connectable medical devices for the treatment of sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory conditions.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2016.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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