The tech sector has taken a bruising recently, highlighted by Facebook's recent smashing. Earlier this summer, the company's stock lost 19% in a day and $120 billion over the course of the week after it reported strong profit but warned that revenue growth would decline over the rest of the year. Netflix ( NFLX), just a few days earlier than Facebook (FB), reported weaker quarterly results and warned about its outlook for subscribers.
Facebook and Netflix's woes have added to overall investor concerns that the previously high-flying technology sector may be set for a slowdown or at least a period of slower growth. That wouldn't be surprising, considering that the technology sector rallied nearly 30% in 2017, outperforming the broader market. However, that doesn't mean its time to throw in the towel when it comes to technology investing. It just means investors need to pick more carefully.
President Trump's tax plan is still likely to help big corporations throughout the rest of 2018 (think repatriation of overseas cash, decreased corporate taxes) and although there is always inherent volatility in technology, the sector has consistently performed well historically – the Nasdaq is up more than 100% over the past five years compared with a 65% gain for the S&P 500. If you're looking for exposure to technology to diversify your portfolio, here are our top technology mutual fund picks for the rest of 2018.
Note: funds were selected on the basis of year-to-date (YTD) performance, assets under management and overall ratings. One fund, the T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund, is barely changed year-to-date, but the long-term performance and outlook are more positive. All figures were current as of October 9, 2018.
Fidelity Select IT Services Portfolio (FBSOX)
- Issuer: Fidelity
- Assets Under Management: $2.67 billion
- Expense Ratio: 0.77%
- 2018 YTD Performance: 16.72%
FBSOX is one of the largest and oldest of the technology mutual funds. Over the life of the fund (inception date February 1998), it has delivered average annualized returns exceeding 12%. The fund's objective is capital appreciation, and it invests at least 80% of its assets in companies providing IT services. The mutual fund is relatively concentrated – although there are 50 equities in the fund's portfolio, the top 10 holdings account for 64% of the assets. About 95% of the equities are domestic, with the remainder in international emerging markets.
The turnover rate is low at just 27%. FBSOX requires a $2,500 minimum investment and $25 minimum recurring investments. The fund has delivered one, three and five-year annualized returns at 31.74%, 17.46% and 19.07%, respectively.
Red Oak Technology Select Fund (ROGSX)
- Issuer: Oak Associates Funds
- Assets Under Management: $591.75 million
- Expense Ratio: 0.97%
- YTD Performance: 17.63%
ROGSX is a long-term growth fund that bases stock picks on fundamentals without regard to market cap. There are just 34 holdings in the fund's portfolio, with the top 10 equities accounting for just 46% of its assets. You'll see household names like Alphabet (GOOG) and Intel (INTC ), as well as somewhat lesser known equities like VMware, Inc. (VMW) powering the fund's solid returns.
Since its inception in 1998, the fund has delivered returns of nearly 5%, with one, three and five-year annualized returns at 26.84%, 27.92% and 20.30%, respectively.
T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund (PRGTX)
- Issuer: T. Rowe Price
- Assets Under Management: $5.6 billion
- Expense Ratio: 0.89%
- YTD Performance: 0.71%
This is an aggressive growth fund for investors seeking long-term capital growth. Turnover is brisk at 101%, as you'd expect from an aggressively managed fund. Since its inception in 2000, the fund has consistently outperformed the MCSI All Country World Index IT and the Lipper average for global technology funds.
One, three and five-year average annual returns are 6.98%, 22.16% and 21.84%, respectively. There is a $2,000 minimum investment required ($1,000 for an IRA) and a charge of $100 to add to an account.
Columbia Seligman Global Technology Fund (SHGTX)
- Issuer: Columbia Threadneedle Investments
- Assets Under Management: $1.21 billion
- Expense Ratio: 1.33%
- YTD Performance: 8.41%
SHGTX is another aggressive growth fund and compared with the MCSI World Index IT Index Net, its portfolio is heavily concentrated in semiconductors (48.5% vs. 15%) and short on IT (6% vs. 17%). However, SHGTX has consistently outperformed the index by between 5% and 10% over the past three years.
One, three and five-year annualized returns are 11.71%, 23.31% and 20.20% respectively. The fund requires a $2,000 minimum investment.