The 3 Best Large-Cap Growth ETFs

etfsLawrence Meyers:   There are so many ETFs out there that it can be difficult for investors to select which ones may be right for their portfolios. In truth, you will need to pick and choose very carefully to find the ones that align with your specific risk tolerance, your investment plan and your asset allocation.

Since I’m not a financial adviser, I don’t know those answers for your particular situation. So I’m going to make suggestions for the three top large-cap growth ETFs for general categories of investors: aggressive, conservative and all-around.

These selections should be examined every year to see that each ETF retains its style and approach, just as you would check in on a mutual fund.

I think the best large-cap growth ETF for all-around investment is the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:IWF). I like the diversification with its 680 holdings, and the fact that it holds plenty of well-known names. The ETF is up 3.8% year-to-date, versus 0.88% for the S&P 500. It has outpaced the S&P 500 over the past five years, with an 86% return to the index’s 72%.

The breakdown is 19% consumer discretionary, 14% health care, 28% information technology, 5% financials, 12% industrial, 5% energy, and bits and pieces of other sectors. It has an expense ratio of only 0.2%.

The big names among its underlying holdings are plentiful: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM).

For the more conservative investor, I tend to look to Vanguard products. In this case, it’s Vanguard S&P 500 Growth ETF (NYSEArca:VOOG). It’s a large ETF, with a strong asset base, but only carries a 0.15% expense ratio. VOOG is up 2.5% year-to-date, ahead of the S&P 500.

I like VOOG for its sector allocation, with 25% consumer staples and discretionary, 19% health care, 8% industrials, 3% energy, and the rest divided among financials, IT, materials, telecom and utilities.

There are many familiar large-cap names in here, including Apple, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL),Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), The Walt Disney Company (NASDAQ: DIS), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

VOOG is well-diversified, with 322 stocks and a median market cap of $96 billion. Its P/E ratio of 23 is higher than I’d like, but these are growth stocks, so it’s expected to be higher than the S&P 500. It’s not an unreasonable valuation.

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