Top Holdings

What Are Top Holdings?

Top holdings are the securities with the greatest market value weight in a portfolio. Top holdings are determined by the relative amount of market value they represent within the total portfolio. Top holdings may refer to those held by an individual investor, or to the highest weightings in a portfolio held by a mutual fund or ETF.

Key Takeaways

  • Top holdings refer to the assets held with the greatest weighting in a portfolio.
  • Individuals can track their top holdings by identifying those investments with the largest dollar amounts invested in them.
  • Mutual funds and ETFs will report top holdings for investors and analysts to consider.

Understanding Top Holdings

Top holdings can provide insight into a portfolio’s style and the types of securities that it invests in. Top holdings are typically ranked by their total market value or expressed as a percentage of the fund’s total assets. An individual investor can easily identify their top holdings as those with the most dollars invested in them.

Almost all publicly available funds will report their top ten holdings in the marketing of the fund. Top holdings are typically displayed alongside an asset class, sub-asset class, or sector breakdown. They can include all types of securities across the investment universe, including different stocks and bonds. In some cases, the top holdings may include the funds held by an investor. For highly concentrated portfolios, a fund’s top ten holdings can potentially represent the entire portfolio.

Below is a breakdown of top holdings across some of the industry’s best performing stock, bond and fund-of-funds portfolios.

Example: Stock Fund Top Holdings

In the large-cap value category, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), or Diamonds, has provided market returns that seek to replicate the construction of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). As such, its top holdings will also match the top holdings of the Index. The fund’s top 10 holdings as of October 2020, which accounted for 53.11% of all holdings in the fund, were:

  1. UnitedHealth 7.76%
  2. Home Depot, Inc. 6.62%
  3. salesforce.com, inc. 5.95%
  4. Amgen Inc. 5.38%
  5. McDonald's Corporation 5.27%
  6. Microsoft Corporation 5.00%
  7. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 4.80%
  8. Visa Inc. 4.59%
  9. Honeywell International Inc. 4.00%
  10. 3M Company 3.95%

Example: Bond Funds

The Oppenheimer (Invesco) International Bond Fund is a top-performing bond fund actively managed with bond investments from all over the world. The fund has a one-year return of 9.42% for the year 2019.

The fund’s top 5 holdings as of its most recent annual report released in September 2020 include:

  1. 10-Year Treasury Note Future Sept 20: 13.39%
  2. United States Treasury Bills 0% - 6.88%
  3. Greece (Republic Of) 1.5% - 3.98%
  4. ITALY BUONI POLIENNALI DEL TESORO BTPS 2.8 03/01/67: 3.33%
  5. COLOMBIAN TES COLTES 6 1/4 11/26/25: 2.68%
  6. REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA GOVERNMENT BOND SAGB 10 1/2 12/21/26 #R186: 2.61%

Example: Fund of Funds

In the fund-of-funds category, the Vanguard STAR Fund is a top-performing investment portfolio with a one-year return of 12.34% through February 2. The fund is a balanced fund with a 60/40 stocks to bonds allocation. It uses a fund-of-funds approach to achieve its long-term capital appreciation and income objective.

As of 2020, top holdings in the portfolio included the Vanguard Windsor II Fund Investor Shares at 14.1%, the Vanguard Long-Term Investment-Grade Fund Investor Shares at 12.5%, and the Vanguard Short-Term Investment-Grade Fund Investor Shares at 12.5%.