5 min read
By Beqa Bumbeishvili, ETF Insider


In the world of finance, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular for investors looking for diversified exposure to specific sectors or strategies. Among the myriad of ETFs available, two that have garnered significant attention in the tech sector are SMH (VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF) and FTEC (Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF). Both ETFs offer unique opportunities, but how do they stack up against each other? Let's dive deep into the SMH VS FTEC debate.

SMH VS FTEC: Sectors and Top Holdings

SMH primarily focuses on the semiconductor sector. This means it invests in companies that manufacture and sell semiconductor chips, which are essential components in almost every modern electronic device. Some of its top holdings include industry giants like Intel, NVIDIA, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
On the other hand, FTEC offers a broader exposure to the information technology sector. This includes companies involved in software, hardware, and IT services. While it does have some overlap with SMH in terms of semiconductor companies, FTEC also includes top holdings like Apple, Microsoft, and Visa.
For investors looking for a concentrated exposure to the semiconductor industry, SMH might be the preferred choice. However, those looking for a broader tech play might lean towards FTEC.


SMH VS FTEC: Capitalization Strategy

When it comes to capitalization strategy, both SMH and FTEC lean heavily towards large-cap companies. This means that a significant portion of their portfolios is invested in the biggest players in the tech industry. The rationale behind this is simple: large-cap companies, due to their size and market dominance, often offer more stability compared to their smaller counterparts.
However, there are subtle differences. SMH, given its focus on the semiconductor sector, might have a more cyclical nature due to the boom and bust cycles of chip manufacturing. FTEC, with its diversified tech holdings, might offer a slightly more balanced risk profile.

SMH VS FTEC: Tracking and Exposure

Both SMH and FTEC aim to track specific indices. SMH tracks the MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index, which focuses on the 25 largest US-listed semiconductor companies. FTEC, meanwhile, tracks the MSCI USA IMI Information Technology Index, offering a broader exposure to the US IT sector.
In terms of geographical exposure, both ETFs are heavily US-centric. However, given the global nature of the tech industry, it's not uncommon for these ETFs to have indirect exposure to global markets, especially in the case of companies that have significant overseas operations or sales.


Choosing between SMH and FTEC largely depends on an investor's specific goals and risk tolerance. If one is bullish specifically on the semiconductor industry and is comfortable with the associated cyclical risks, SMH might be the way to go. However, for those looking for a more diversified tech play that encompasses various sub-sectors of the IT world, FTEC could be a more suitable choice.
In any investment decision, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and possibly consult with a financial advisor. The SMH VS FTEC debate is just one of many considerations an investor should take into account when building a diversified portfolio.


  1. VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) official website.
  2. Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC) official website.
  3. MSCI USA IMI Information Technology Index official documentation.
  4. MVIS US Listed Semiconductor 25 Index official documentation.

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