ETF Talk: Strike Oil While the Market’s Hot!

Jim Woods

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

The expression “strike while the iron’s hot” is not a new idiom. In fact, it dates back to the 15th century, where it originated from blacksmiths who could only work with their iron while it was, well, hot. And much like a good chunk of iron, the market is burning hot enough for us to strike — strike at oil, that is.


Oil has been seeing a resurgence in the market as of late. As the conflicts in the Middle East heat up due to Iran’s recent attack on Israel, some analysts are predicting that oil could rise to as high as $100 per barrel. That, combined with commodity exchange-traded funds (ETFs) having a potential resurgence due to inflation, creates the perfect opportunity to strike at one of the best oil ETFs on the market: the iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO).

Opened in 2006 by BlackRock, Inc., IEO tracks a market-cap weighted index of U.S. companies in the oil and gas industry. The underlying index includes U.S. companies of various market caps that are involved in either the exploration of oil and gas, or the drilling, production, refining and supply of such products.

IEO’s top 10 holdings consist of ConocoPhillips (COP), EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG), Phillips 66 (PSX), Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), Valero Energy Corporation (VLO), Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG), Hess Corporation (HES), Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD), Devon Energy Corporation (DVN) and Coterra Energy Inc. (CTRA). The fund’s cap-weighting structure makes it top-heavy, and its top 10 holdings comprise the majority of its overall portfolio. However, IEO is a well-managed fund, and has excellent underlying liquidity.


Currently, the fund has an expense ratio of 0.40% and $901 million in assets under management. Over 97% of the fund’s holdings are in Energy Minerals, making this an almost entirely energy-dominated fund.

Chart courtesy of

As of April 15, the oil ETF is up 6.12% in the past month, 18.95% in the last three months and 16.84% year to date. This strong performance, coupled with the current market demand, makes IEO a strong choice for those looking to add an energy investment to their portfolio.

However, even with all the potential positives, IEO might not be the right iron to strike. You should always consider your investment goals and do your due diligence before adding any stock or exchange-traded fund to your portfolio.


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

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