Invest in the Best with This Mega-Cap ETF

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

Even a cursory look at stock market history can tell anyone that buying the largest U.S. companies by market capitalization have been a strong investing strategy over the years.

After all, growing into one of the largest companies on the U.S. stock exchanges requires an organization to be well managed and experience a long trend of success. There are many ways to invest in these companies, and one such example is to purchase shares of Principal U.S. Mega-Cap ETF (USMC).

This exchange-traded fund (ETF) invests in some of the biggest companies on the market, but its strategy is a little more nuanced than just betting on the field of large-cap stocks. USMC also weights less volatile companies more strongly within the universe of those from which to select its holdings.

Market cap, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the present share price, is also a factor for investors to consider. But weighting companies that have less volatility more strongly than others in a purely cap-weighted fund puts Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) near the top of the list of USMC’s largest holdings. It is followed by more value-oriented mega-caps such as Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). For reference, tech stalwarts Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) are the 18th, 23rd and 25th largest holdings, respectively.

In the last year, this fund has outperformed the S&P 500 with a gain of 9.5% compared to the index’s 4.9%. Part of the fund’s goal is to perform better during market downturns than a pure mega-cap strategy, and it looks to have accomplished this objective. The fund significantly outperformed the S&P in the month of April. USMC manages a total of $1.63 billion and its 0.12% expense ratio is fairly cheap, especially for a fund with a nuanced strategy. Income investors will be pleased to know USMC offers a dividend yield of 1.44%.

Chart courtesy of

Top holdings for USMC not only include Apple Inc., 6.59%, but Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.B), 3.99%; Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), 3.86%; PepsiCo Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), 3.56%; and Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), 3.53%. Further, 37.81% of the fund’s assets are invested in its top 10 holdings.

For investors interested in gaining exposure to a less volatile basket of proven winners, Principal U.S. Mega-Cap ETF (USMC) could be an ETF worth holding.

As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an email. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

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