VHT - Vanguard Health Care Index Fund ETF Shares

NYSEArca - NYSEArca Delayed Price. Currency in USD
171.45
+1.35 (+0.79%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close171.60
Open0.00
Bid0.00 x 1100
Ask0.00 x 900
Day's Range0.00 - 0.00
52 Week Range
Volume0
Avg. Volume166,607
Net Assets10.43B
NAV170.09
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
Yield2.02%
YTD Return8.28%
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.96
Expense Ratio (net)0.10%
Inception Date2004-01-26
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • 3 Charts Suggest Health Care Stocks Are Headed Higher
    Investopedia

    3 Charts Suggest Health Care Stocks Are Headed Higher

    Bullish chart patterns suggest that active traders will be looking for health care stocks to make a major long-term move higher.

  • Q2 Earnings Surprise in the Cards, Healthcare ETFs to Buy
    Zacks

    Q2 Earnings Surprise in the Cards, Healthcare ETFs to Buy

    With earnings surprise in cards, the healthcare sector is expected to witness earnings growth of 1.7% in the second quarter, suggesting continued outperformance for healthcare ETFs.

  • Healthcare ETFs in Focus on UnitedHealth's Q2 Earnings
    Zacks

    Healthcare ETFs in Focus on UnitedHealth's Q2 Earnings

    ETFs having the largest allocation to this health insurance giant are in focus post Q2 earnings.

  • 9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio
    InvestorPlace

    9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio

    Many investors want a simple set-and-forget portfolio which will provide a balance between growth and income over time. And particularly if you are just beginning to build a portfolio, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) provide an easy and less expensive means to do this.Source: Shutterstock Inside my Profitable Investing, I have a large collection of model portfolios which are offered to achieve my goal of all-weather performance with lots of income and risk-controlled growth using stocks, bonds and funds -- including ETFs.For ETFs, your portfolio should be weighted to the best sectors of the U.S. markets, with shares in specific stock sectors that are geared to provide growth and income over time. As such, the stock ETF allocation should be set at 56% of your overall portfolio. I continue to recommend a roughly equal weighing for each of the funds you choose.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThis same method applies in the fixed-income sectors that are focused on corporate bonds and preferred stock, as well as the buoyant municipal bond markets. The fixed-income allocation should be set at 44% overall, including an 11% allocation to cash. And like with the stock-based funds, the individual fixed-income ETFs should be weighted evenly. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 And note, the municipal bond ETFs can be bought in tax-free accounts. Some brokerages give warnings about this, but there are no restrictions to doing it. You will give up some of the tax-free income advantage, but the total return prospects for this market remain compelling. Stock AllocationsI'll start with the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEARCA:VYM), for access to the general market with a dividend focus. VYM continues to do well year to date with a return of over 14%. Expenses are 0.6%, or just $6 annually for every $10,000 invested.That is the baseline for the stock market. Now let's move into one of the more attractive and defensive market sectors. REITs continue to gain from improving property values and rising income, fueling increasing dividends. Step into this sector safely with the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ). This ETF has resulting in a return year to date of 22% and expenses of 0.12%.Next we move on to the utilities market, which is also gaining from the security of essential services businesses. These, in turn, fuel ample and rising dividends. This sector should be bought with the Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU), which has turned in a return year-to-date of 15.7% and carries expenses of 0.1%.Healthcare traditionally has been a reliable growth market through thick and thin. Americans continue to need more and more healthcare and related products -- again providing security in revenues and reliable dividends. This sector has, though, been affected by concerns over potential government changes in healthcare rules. But these concerns, while valid, are still well into the future, probably well beyond the 2020 election. You can invest here with the Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT), which has generated a return to date of 10.8%. The expense ratio is 0.1%.Then we move to the technology market. This sector is challenged by the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which may further impact supply chains in China as well as sales all over the world. But the innovation engines remain on a fuller throttle, resulting in a return that dwarfs the general stock market. Buy in here with the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT) with a return to date of 31.3% and expenses of 0.1%.The petroleum and energy markets remain uncertain. The supply of crude oil outside the U.S. continues to be threatened by internal hostilities in many Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and externally, by sanctions on others including some attacks on ships and pipelines in the Middle East. In the US, shale producers are pumping lots and infrastructure to transport it is coming online -- but the stockpiles are holding down prices.In addition, a slowing global economy is putting supply and demand models into a case for less demand, which is also putting a cap on prices.All this said, the U.S. companies remain great sources of cash flows and are fueling U.S. regional economic growth. And in turn -- they are generating ample cash for bigger dividends. The sector should be represented by the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE) which has turned in a return year to date of 12.2%.Stock Sector Performance Year to Date Using Vanguard and SPDR ETFs Source Bloomberg Fixed-Income ETFs to Invest InAmong fixed-income allocations, you should have specific ETFs for corporate bonds, preferred stocks and municipal bonds.The U.S. economy continues to grow, with little inflation. This is providing excellent opportunities for specific sectors of the bond markets. Add in a docile Federal Reserve Bank which, while not cutting its target rate range for Fed Funds in the June meeting of its Open Market Committee (FOMC), is still expected to ease money conditions in the target range.Corporate bonds are doing well. The economy is bringing more revenues to companies, which in turn makes them better credit risks. And with yield above Treasuries, they drive more demand for these bonds. This sector should be bought with the SPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:SPIB) which has generated a return year to date of 5.5% and a 12-month yield of 3.1%. Expenses are 0.07%.Next is preferred stocks. Preferred stocks are the bonds of the stock market. They provide the certainty of largely fixed dividends that are paid before dividends to common stockholders. They are defensive and bigger income-producing investments -- perfect for the current market. The sector should be bought with the iShares Preferred & Income Securities ETF (NASDAQ:PFF) which has generated a return to date of 8.8% and has a 12-month yield of 5.8%. Expenses are 0.46%.Municipal bonds continue from last year to be a go-to market for improving prices with yield premiums to U.S. Treasuries. With the economy doing better, tax revenues for most state and local authorities are improving as well, which in turn drives up the credibility and bond prices. The sector should be bought for total return and not just tax-free income with the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:VTEB) which has turned in a return to date of 4.1%. Its 12-month yield is 2.3% and expenses are 0.08%.Fixed Income Sector Year to Date Performance using Index Sector ETFs Source BloombergNow I've presented my way to build an all-weather ETF portfolio, perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. For more - look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more: https://profitableinvesting.investorplace.com/Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy on College Students' Radars * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * The S&P 500's 5 Best Highest-Yielding Dividend Stocks The post 9 Set-It-And-Forget-It ETFs to Simplify Your Portfolio appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Drug and Healthcare Stocks to Keep Your Portfolio Healthy
    InvestorPlace

    Drug and Healthcare Stocks to Keep Your Portfolio Healthy

    Healthcare stocks have traditionally been a go-to sector for reliable returns through any economic and market conditions. The rationale is straightforward. The U.S. is a large nation filled with folks that are generally less than healthy, and the vast majority have employer-provided health insurance to pick up the rising costs.Source: Shutterstock And for those who are less fortunate -- those under- or unemployed -- or those who are retired, there are additional entitlement programs from Federal and state governments, ranging from Medicaid to Medicare. For children, there's the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). And of course, for now, there's also the additional Affordable Care Act. Add in Federal employee programs, including from the Veterans Association, and there's billions of dollars to pay for lots of drugs and healthcare.Moreover, since few in the U.S. are direct-paying customers in the healthcare sector, there is little in the way of a market-check on prices and costs. This is a recipe for increasing spending and resulting revenues -- and of course profits.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Healthcare Stocks and ProfitsAnd it shows for the first reported quarter of 2019. Healthcare stocks of the S&P 500 index reported revenue gains on average of 13.7%, with earnings gaining 9.1%. That vastly outpaced the general averages for the members of the general S&P 500 Index.And while there is lots of speculation over the pace of growth in revenue and earnings for the healthcare sector as compiled by Bloomberg and shown below, it is still expected to see gains into 2020.Compiled Historic and Forecast Revenue & Earnings Growth for Healthcare Source BloombergAnd yet, year to date, healthcare stocks have lagged the S&P 500 Index in total return, with the sector generating a return of 1.8% against the S&P 500's 11.9%.S&P 500 Healthcare Index & S&P 500 Index Total Return Source BloombergThe big hindrance seems to come from concerns of the political rhetoric of the well-underway 2020 U.S. elections. On the Democratic side, there's wild talk of national health insurance and even doing away with private employer-paid coverage. And in a limited amount in the Grand Old Party (GOP), there's talk at least of doing something about drug prices. * 7 Stocks to Buy for Monster Growth Either way, investors seem to be spooked for now about the cushy market enjoyed by healthcare companies. But take a look at the many opinion polls from folks on the left and right when asked directly about serious changes to the U.S. healthcare market. You'll see the majority of folks don't want what's being pitched -- particularly in terms of national health insurance.My take is that the healthcare sector is a bargain right now on overblown fears. And with better revenue and earnings growth coming from a buoyant market for healthcare and drugs, the sector is a safer place for a healthier portfolio. Ill-Gotten GainsThe key to the sector's future success is that the U.S. is a nation that is aging and becoming ever less healthy. This isn't a good mix for one of the leading economies of the planet. In a recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census, by 2035, it is projected that 78 million folks will be 65 years or older. By that same year, those at or under the age of 18 years will be 76 million.This will be a further significant change in the demographics of the U.S. It has traditionally been a younger nation with more healthy and able folks to produce more for the economy.And it gets worse with it comes to the health of the overall population whether old or young. The Mayo Clinic recently released its extensive study of the health of the population and is saying that 3% or less are living a healthy lifestyle. This is not surprising. Just take a stroll around many neighborhoods around the nation and do some people watching. We are a nation of fatter people that don't look like they could walk up a flight of stairs, let alone run up one.The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) just released a study saying 36.5% of the U.S. population is obese. This sets up the nation for more diabetes and all of the ancillary health effects of that disease. And then there is heart health and its complications.Add in a higher poverty rate, which can lead to further health challenges for young and old alike, and other factors including infant mortality, and the nation doesn't look too healthy.And of course, last year we saw that life expectancies in the U.S. population stopped seeing improvements, with some segments dropping in life years. And the end of the line is where healthcare spending really ramps up to keep those older ailing alive a bit longer.No wonder healthcare spending is big in the U.S. and climbing quickly. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- healthcare spending increased in 2017 by 3.9% to $3.9 trillion or $10,739 per person. This represents 17.9% of the then gross domestic product of the U.S. (GDP).And it is getting worse. The CMS projects that spending between 2017 through 2016 will continue to rise by an average annual rate of 5.50% reaching $5.7 trillion. And given projections for GDP for the period -- that would come closer to 20% of the overall economy.Now this isn't good news for the U.S. population, but it does provide for a silver lining for us as investors. Where to StartInside the model portfolios of my Profitable Investing, I have the overall market for healthcare synthetically invested in the Vanguard Healthcare ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT). This ETF provides a one-stop solution for this market. And over the trailing five years, the ETF has generated a return of 63.80% - which is above the general S&P 500 Index.But moving on to the drug companies, I have the drug maker, Merck (NYSE:MRK), which continues to perform particularly well over the past three years with a return of 54.5%. Revenues continue to advance, with the most recent report showing gains of 7.8%. Operating margins are running fat at 19.6%, which contributes to a great return on shareholder's equity of 27.4%. It has lots of cash and little debt, so it can easily support its pipeline of new treatments.Then I have a peer with another drug maker, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which follows the success of Merck with a return over the recent three years of 33.9%. Revenues are a bit more tepid, with gains running at 1.6%. But its operating margins are better at 26.1% which supports a return on equity of 17.8%. And like Merck, Pfizer has lots of cash and little debt, so further investment in its newer products and services is easily supported. MPW Stock Is a FavoriteThen there's a favorite of mine in the healthcare property market with Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW). This is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and acquires healthcare facilities, including inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as surgical centers and specialty healthcare facilities. The have more than 120 properties in 25 states as well as some newer innovative investments in Germany, Australia and this week in Switzerland.These properties are leased on a net basis, in which its tenants pay insurance, upkeep and taxes. The operators run the facilities and pay rent month after month for years. The portfolio has expanded dramatically over the recent years, with only a small pause in the past year. But it continues to look to expand its portfolio with the right properties in an ever-expanding market. Hence its deal in Swiss Confederation.Revenues are climbing, with gains running at 21.1% per year on average for the trailing three years. And the funds from operations (FFO), which measures just the return rate from the cashflows from the property portfolio, is ample at 10.9%. That's impressive for the REIT space. This contributes to an impressive return on its assets at 11% .And the stock continues to reflect its performance as a company. Over the past three years, the stock has delivered a total return of 50.7%.It is a disciplined company when it comes to debt and leverage, as its debt-to-capital is at only 47%. This provides the ability to easily service its current debts and provides eased access for credit to fund additional acquisitions.The stock is also still a value proposition. The stock is valued at only 1.4 times its book value. That has been climbing significantly over the trailing year from only 1.1 times back in October of 2018.But it isn't just the price to book that's rising, it's the actual value of the assets. Over the past five years alone, the underlying book value per share has gone from $7.98 to a current $12.45. That represents an impressive gain of 56%. This is important as it shows genuine growth in the underlying company and not just the stock price.The dividend is 25 cents per share and has risen 4.05% annually on average over the past five years. This equates to a current yield of 5.57%.In addition, the dividend is tax-advantaged due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). That provides a tax deduction of 20% of the dividend distribution for U.S. individual investors.Now I've presented some of my favorite healthcare stocks that are capitalizing on U.S. demographics and spending. Perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations? For more, look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more: https://profitableinvesting.investorplace.com/Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 Stocks to Buy for Monster Growth * Ranking the Top 10 Stock Buybacks of Last Year * 5 Stocks Under $10 With Big Upside Potential Compare Brokers The post Drug and Healthcare Stocks to Keep Your Portfolio Healthy appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • ETF Trends

    Health Care ETFs Could be Cure for Trade War Blues

    Whether the markets are roaring or experiencing doldrums, health care exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been a paragon of reliability, and could be the safe haven investors need to cure the trade war blues. For traders, this could bode well for the Direxion Daily Healthcare Bull 3X ETF (CURE). In particular, the pharmaceutical business is experiencing a profit squeeze as a result of lesser-than-expected revenue from the sale of generic drugs.

  • Harvest Exchange

    Can Health Care Recover from Medicare for All?

    A proposal to expand Medicare and eliminate private insurance in the U.S. pummeled health care stocks recently. Portfolio Manager Andy Acker and Research Analyst Rich Carney explain what it means for investors. Key Takeaways A recent proposal to ...

  • Can Q1 Earnings Lift Healthcare ETFs Higher?
    Zacks

    Can Q1 Earnings Lift Healthcare ETFs Higher?

    With negative earnings revisions, the healthcare sector is expected to witness earnings growth of 1.8% in the first quarter, suggesting smooth trading for healthcare ETFs.

  • UnitedHealth Falls Despite Q1 Beat, Healthcare ETFs in Focus
    Zacks

    UnitedHealth Falls Despite Q1 Beat, Healthcare ETFs in Focus

    UnitedHealth Group reported robust first-quarter 2019 results. The company breezed past the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both earnings and revenues and raised its full-year forecast.

  • The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks — What to Buy Now?
    InvestorPlace

    The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks — What to Buy Now?

    Stocks are up over 16% so far this year, as tracked by the S&P 500 Index. That's astonishing given that last year, from the start to the top on Sept. 20, 2018, the S&P 500 Index was up only 9.62%.S&P 500 Index Total Return Source BloombergInvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSo, what's driving all of the buying?I'll start with FOMO. Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator in the markets -- the idea that if you don't get in and buy, you'll miss out on the big rally. I believe that's a big part of getting more investors, from hedge funds to individuals, to reduce their money market funds or buying power in their brokerage accounts and shift to stocks.And as the market builds on gains and the financial and Main Street media reports more and more on the upward progress, it only fuels the buying. And this isn't a new thing. Take any of the past big up market moves of the past decades and you'll see FOMO kick in and remain until fear takes over after some big down days. We saw examples of that at the start of February and October of last year. * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Next is the Federal Reserve and its Open Market Committee (FOMC). The FOMC bungled its messaging last year. It laid out the plan to watch core inflation as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE) and said it wanted to see the PCE reach 2% and then some before it would need to act. Then it acted anyway, reducing the bond portfolio and stoking fears of more aggressive actions alongside raising its target range for Fed Funds.Then, with the stock market slipping and politics coming in on the play, it punted, and now it's pretty clear that it's going to be passive for a while. This means that the bond market will continue to be supported with the FOMC keeping its bond portfolio more or less intact. And with easy money with interest rates still not far from post-crisis levels, the credit market supports a buoyant stock market.Moving it forward is the concept of Modern Monetary Theory or MMT. This is a spin on an old theory attributed to many, including German economist George Knapp. And in very brief summary, MMT holds that the government that issues fiat money can do so largely at will and can control inflation via taxes or bond issuance. This way, government can spend at nearly at will.Of course, this works until it doesn't, when money isn't recognized, and no one will buy government bonds except the central bank.But it is being rolled out as a politically pleasing means of not only keeping the FOMC's bond portfolio, but potentially for having even larger government budgetary spending for all sorts of things.Next up is the bond market. The U.S. 10-year Treasury is sitting near 2.59% and remains well bought in the market. This, in turn, is aiding the market for mortgages, which lenders and traders use as benchmarks for modeling prices and yields. So, mortgage rates should remain low, providing further economic stimulus as well as consumer confidence all good for stocks.And it isn't just because of the FOMC. Demand by bond buyers, from wealthy investors to insurance companies and pension funds, remains strong. And given the demographics of the U.S. market aging further, that demand should keep a lid on yields for a while.And in turn, with lower Treasury yields, the corporate and other bonds, including municipal bonds, look even more attractive for the same bond investors -- all helping the economy and the general stock market.And last up is the U.S. dollar. The dollar, as measured by the Bloomberg US dollar Index, which tracks a basket of 10 major currencies, is up nearly 7% over the past year. That makes the U.S. a prime destination for global investment.This shows up in U.S. Treasury tracking of foreign government and private inflows of capital that are buying U.S. stocks and bonds. And while there were some outflows in the downturn in the fourth quarter for U.S. stocks, overall, the net amount of foreign investment in the U.S. is vastly higher in the most recent data than were it was back in 2016.And all of this comes as the underlying themes that I've been writing about recently about consumer comfort and business confidence to invest in long-term capital spending remain intact. The Big WorryNow, where will the cracks show up?I think that the biggest risk for the U.S. stock market is the reality of company performance. One of the reasons for the selloff in the fourth quarter last year was the fear that sales growth and, more importantly, earnings growth would slow from the stellar numbers of last year into 2019.For the fourth calendar quarter of 2018, the members of the S&P 500 Index reported sales growth, on average, about 6% and earnings growth around 12%. But what may be coming for the coming quarters looks a lot slower. And so far, as earnings for the first calendar quarter are rolling in, it has been a mixed bag with more risks on the horizon in the coming weeks. Tech Stocks -- Stocks to Buy, or Topping Out?This is particularly threatening for the information technology sector. This segment of the S&P 500 Index has been a big driver of the performance of the index this year, and is one of the more highly valued. Any disappointments in the earnings from the first calendar quarter of this year will most likely have a negative impact on the overall index -- and the market.So, while many companies turned in some nice numbers from the fourth quarter, the risk is that as more folks take a look at the expectations for slowed growth in sales and earnings, the compelling case to buy fades and selling comes back.Source: BloombergAnd at the core of the risk sector would be the information technology stocks, particularly found in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) such as Vanguard's Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT). This ETF has soared, with a price gain alone from Dec. 24, 2018 to date of over 35%. It is the underlying, synthetically represented stocks that have the greatest risk for earnings disappointment.This is why I continue to recommend plenty of safer, more income-focused investments and defensive investments in the model portfolios of my Profitable Investing.But that said, I do believe that even in some downturns for the general market that there are plenty of stocks in industries that worked in tougher times and will work going forward. But above all else -- keep your focus on the dividend and income paying investments right now.Source: BloombergIn particular, look at a few key segments stating with real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs have been one of the stellar performing sectors but still remains a value. The Bloomberg US REITs Index has generated a trailing year's return of 19% and was one of the better-performing indexes, losing less during the broad U.S. stock selloff in the fourth quarter of 2018 than many peers. One of the easiest means for synthetic exposure is in the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ).Source: BloombergNext is the utilities market sector. Again, like with REITs, utilities provide defense with better yield and the added benefit of having both regulated and unregulated businesses. The S&P 500 Utilities Index has a trailing year's return of 19% and was again a better performer during the selloff late last year. The go-to ETF for exposure can be found in the Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU).Source: BloombergAnd last up is the healthcare sector. With U.S. healthcare spending solidly on the rise -- regrettably due to an ever-aging and more unhealthy population -- this makes for a defensive sector with growth still in the works. The ETF for broad synthetic exposure is the Vanguard Health ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT).The key to dealing with a toppy-looking market is to be aware of what got it there, the threats that are rising and where to begin to diversify ahead of the next pull-back or sell-off.Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks to Buy for Spring Season Growth * This Is How You Beat Back a Bear Market * 7 Dental Stocks to Buy That Will Make You Smile Compare Brokers The post The Market Is Strong, Even With Rising Risks -- What to Buy Now? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • JNJ Beats, Ups Sales Growth View: Healthcare ETFs in Focus
    Zacks

    JNJ Beats, Ups Sales Growth View: Healthcare ETFs in Focus

    Johnson & Johnson continued its long streak of earnings beat and also outpaced revenue estimates. Though it raised the guidance for full-year sales growth, it tightened the earnings per share forecast.

  • Healthcare's Near-Term Prospects Bright: 3 ETFs in Focus
    Zacks

    Healthcare's Near-Term Prospects Bright: 3 ETFs in Focus

    The healthcare space might have seen a sluggish year so far. But its valuation and near-term prospects make it a good space for investments right now.

  • ETF Trends

    Will Tighter Government Regulation Test Health Care ETFs?

    Whether the markets are roaring or experiencing doldrums, health care exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been a paragon of reliability, but the sector could soon get tested with a forthcoming wave of government ...

  • ETF Trends

    Health Care ETFs Get a Boost From Latest Jobs Report

    Job growth in March made a comeback following a less-than-stellar February as 196,000 jobs were created as opposed to 175,000 expected by economists with a good portion coming from the health care sector, ...

  • Health Day Checkup of Medical ETFs: 5 Top Picks
    Zacks

    Health Day Checkup of Medical ETFs: 5 Top Picks

    M&A activity, approval of novel drugs and earnings growth in Q1 put healthcare ETFs in a decent spot.

  • InvestorPlace

    Invest in America’s Rising Healthcare Costs With These Stocks

    Not a day goes by that healthcare costs aren't being discussed across each corner of media. With the 2020 election now underway, politicos are ratcheting up the rhetoric over healthcare costs and the political ads are already spinning the topic. And all of this is for good reason. Healthcare costs in the U.S. are high and rapidly rising, especially if you're of retirement age. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- healthcare spending increased in 2017 by 3.90% to $3.9 trillion or $10,739 per person. This represents 17.90% of the then gross domestic product of the U.S. (GDP). In fact, in a recently published book, More than Medicine: The Broken Promise of American Health by Bob Kaplan, he argues that the U.S. pays way more than its mature economic peers.For example, the U.S. pays 18% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare whereas the European Union (E.U.) only pays 10% of its combined GDP. And, to make it worse, the U.S. has a lower life expectancy than many nations around the globe. Add in a high poverty rate, which can lead to further health challenges for young and old and other factors showing health troubles, including infant mortality, and the nation doesn't look too healthy. American healthcare may well get even more expensive, as the U.S. ages and becomes less healthy by the day. This isn't a good mix for one of the leading economies of the planet.In a recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census, by 2035, it is projected that 78 million folks will be 65 years or older. That same year, those at or under the age of 18 years will number just 76 million. America is becoming a nation of the elderly -- a significant change in the demographics of a nation traditionally known for its healthy and able folks. It's a shift that leaves many wondering where our economic productivity gains will come from. And, as we know, the elderly population requires the most attentive healthcare … no wonder healthcare spending is climbing.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Stocks on the Rise Heading Into the Second Quarter While this sounds bleak, there is a silver lining here for us as investors. And no, I'm not suggesting that we look at gym companies (although I am poking around at that market with some innovations that I'll be writing about in Profitable Investing in the near future). Rather, I'm suggesting that investing in healthcare stocks that pay dividends is a smart source for capital gains … WP Carey Click to Enlarge Source: Bloomberg One healthcare stock, in particular, comes to mind … I'm referring to WP Carey (NYSE:WPC), which I've written about extensively for InvestorPlace.WP Carey is a REIT, which since coming to the public market, has generated a return of 1,348.28% for an average annual equivalent return of 13.46%. That's not too shabby any way you cut it. The business itself is a curious one: WP Carey doesn't operate its properties, and it doesn't pay for maintenance, insurance, or taxes. Instead, it executes "triple net leases." This means that it locks up long-term cashflows with less risk in rising costs for the properties and the vagrancies of tax rates.Its tenants pay for all of that, thus WP Carey profits from other peoples' money.In the healthcare market, there is a specific equivalent in the following security. Well, this next security is technically a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and acquires healthcare facilities including inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as surgical centers and specialty healthcare facilities. Their properties amount to more than 120 properties in 25 states as well as some newer innovative investments in Germany. Scroll down to discover what it is … Medical Properties Trust (MPW) Click to Enlarge Source: Bloomberg Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) has properties that are leased on a net basis to operators that run the facilities and pay rent month after month for years. The portfolio has expanded dramatically over the recent year with only a small pause in the past year. But it continues to look to expand its portfolio with the right properties in an ever-expanding market.Revenues are climbing with gains running at over 11.30% in just the trailing year. And the funds from operations (FFO) which measures just the return rate from the cashflows from the property portfolio is ample at 11.60%, which is impressive for the REIT space. This contributes to an impressive return on its assets at 11.40% and is what delivers for shareholders with a return on equity of 24.30%.And the stock continues to reflect its performance as a company. Over the past ten years, the stock has delivered a total return of 994.12% for an average annual equivalent of 26.79%. It is a disciplined company when it comes to debt and leverage as its debt to capital is at only 47.00%. This provides the ability to easily service its current debts and provides eased access for credit to fund additional acquisitions. Valued at only 1.49 times its book value, MPW is a steal from a price-book (P/B) perspective. This ratio has climbed significantly over the trailing year, from 1.14 times back in October 2018.But it isn't just the P/B ratio that's rising, but the actual value of the assets. Over the past five years alone, the underlying book value per share has gone from $7.98 to a current $12.27, which represents an impressive gain of 53.76%. This is important as it shows genuine growth in the underlying company and not just the stock price. The dividend is currently at 25 cents per share and has been climbing in distribution by an average annual rate of 4.30% over the past five years. This equates to a current yield of 5.48%. * Top 7 Service Sector Stocks That Will Pay You to Own Them Medical Properties Trust makes for a great buy in the healthcare market (which should be purchased in a taxable account). This is due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which provides a tax deduction of 20% of the dividend distribution for U.S. individual investors making the taxable equivalent yield even higher. Other Stocks to Play HealthcareInside the Profitable Investing model portfolios, I have the overall market for healthcare synthetically invested in the Vanguard Healthcare ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT), which remains a buy in a tax-free account. Then, in my Incredible Dividend Machine portfolio inside Profitable Investing, I have three more plays on healthcare …I have the drugmaker Merck (NYSE:MRK), which continues to perform for shareholders. And I have another drugmaker in Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which follows the success of Merck. Further, I also have Ventas (NYSE:VTR), which as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns a series of senior healthcare and related housing care facilities. VTR is doing quite well with the general REIT sector as we move further into 2019.One of the smartest investment lessons that I learned, from one of my best stocks within Profitable Investing, is to capitalize when the opportunity arises. That is, take risks while you lock in revenues! And the aforementioned stocks should continue to position themselves into the thick of the rising healthcare spending market while paying out an ample and rising dividend.Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Invincible Stocks Leading The Bull Market Higher * 5 Dow Jones Stocks Coming to Life * 7 of the Best High-Yield Funds for 2019 and Beyond Compare Brokers The post Invest in America's Rising Healthcare Costs With These Stocks appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • InvestorPlace

    5 Mutual Funds With Huge Minimum Investments

    One of the primary reasons so many advisors and investors gravitate to ETFs over mutual funds is the low fees available on ETFs. An often overlooked reason why so many retail investors embrace ETFs over mutual funds is minimum investments.As in many mutual funds require minimum investments while no ETFs do. Some mutual funds have tolerable minimum investments of $500 or $1,000. Others start at $2,500 or $3,000 while some other mutual funds require minimum investments that makes these funds off-limits to a large portion of investors.Another irksome point about mutual funds' minimum investments that the higher the required investment, the lower a fund's fees are likely to be. With ETFs, the expense ratio is the expense ratio, regardless of how much investors put into the fund.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips"The main thing to understand is that the lower the investment minimum, the higher the expense ratio usually is," according to Morningstar. "The reasoning is that it's more difficult to maintain many accounts with low balances than fewer accounts with lots of assets. So although the strategy and investment portfolio (and investment manager, if applicable) are the same across all share classes, the expense ratios will differ." * 7 Top Stocks to Buy From Goldman Sachs' Secret Portfolio Here are some examples of mutual funds with minimum investments that are likely to catch investors' eyes -- but not in a good way. Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index Fund Institutional Shares (VSPMX)Minimum investment: $5,000,000.No need to do a double-take. The Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index Fund Institutional Shares (MUTF:VSPMX) really does have a minimum investment of $5,000,000, according to Vanguard data.In fairness to this Vanguard mutual fund, VSPMX, at its name implies, is the institutional share class of a mutual fund with several share classes. But all of these have required investments that are significantly lower than $5,000,000.And for investors that want to dodge minimum investments altogether, the this mutual fund is available in ETF form via Vanguard S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEARCA:IVOO). That ETF charges just 0.15% per year. Vanguard Health Care Fund Investor Shares (VGHCX)Minimum investment: $3,000There was a time when the Vanguard Health Care Fund Investor Shares (MUTF:VGHCX) had a minimum investment that was far higher than the $3,000 investors see today. This is an actively managed healthcare mutual fund with a lengthy track record."For more than 25 years, this actively managed fund has offered investors low-cost exposure to domestic and foreign companies involved in various aspects of the health care industry, such as pharmaceutical firms, medical supply companies, and research firms," according to Vanguard. * 5 Warren Buffett Stocks You Can't Go Wrong With While it is not an ETF replica of VGHCX, the Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT) is a suitable alternative for investors looking for lower-fee, no minimum investment product. VHT charges just 0.10% per year, making it one of the least expensive healthcare funds -- ETF or mutual fund -- on the market. Calamos Convertible I (CICVX)Minimum Investment: $1,000,000This share class of the Calamos Convertible I (MUTF:CICVX) really does require a minimum investment of $1,000,000. Fortunately, the issuer has a pair of other share classes for this mutual fund that have much more reasonable minimum investments of $500.Convertible bonds are popular with some fixed income investors because the bonds can be converted into common stock of the issuing company, giving convertibles higher correlations to stocks than other fixed income asset classes. Plus, convertibles often perform well when interest rates rise.Over half the bonds in this mutual fund are issued by technology and healthcare companies. The fund has a 30-day SEC yield of 1%. AQR Large Cap Defensive Style Fund (AUEIX)Minimum investment: $100,000 or $5,000,000The AQR Large Cap Defensive Style Fund Class I (MUTF:AUEIX) has a minimum investment of $100,000, but that is only for institutional investors. Individual investors that want to get involved with mutual fund face a minimum investment of $5,000,000, according to issuer data.Hey, at least this mutual fund does not have loads or redemption fees. In many ways, AUEIX is a standard large-cap mutual fund, looking to capture upside in bull markets while potentially experiencing less downside when markets decline. * 7 Growth Stocks Racing to All-Time Highs At the end of last year, AUEIX allocated almost a third of its combined weight to the defensive healthcare and consumer staples sectors. Technology and financial services stocks combined for 29.40% of the mutual fund's weight. Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund Admiral Shares (VCSAX)Minimum investment: $100,000.This is another case of a particular share class of a Vanguard mutual fund carrying a high required investment while also having several more affordable share classes. The Vanguard Consumer Staples Index Fund Admiral Shares (MUTF:VCSAX) is an index fund, not a mutual fund, tracking a sector that is popular with conservative, income-oriented investors.This mutual fund's roster "includes stocks of companies that provide direct-to-consumer products that, based on consumer spending habits, are considered essential to daily life," according to Vanguard.Investors can dodge the required minimum investment with the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEARCA:VDC), which is also one of the least expensive staples ETFs on the market.Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Growth Stocks Racing to All-Time Highs * 5 Warren Buffett Stocks You Can't Go Wrong With * Game On for These 3 Gaming Stocks Compare Brokers The post 5 Mutual Funds With Huge Minimum Investments appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • 7 of the Best ETFs to Buy for a Rock-Solid Portfolio
    InvestorPlace

    7 of the Best ETFs to Buy for a Rock-Solid Portfolio

    The U.S. economy and markets are providing a collection of tailwinds for specific industries and investments. And it is resulting in a buoyant general stock market that has the S&P 500 Index up 11.25% year-to-date.But rather than just betting on the general stock market, I have a collection of market segments that will help you construct a better overall portfolio for growth and income, all with less risk and better-balanced returns for the year. * 10 Blue-Chip Stocks to Lead the Market Specifically, I'm talking about a few key exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to buy. With that said, let's dive into the best ETFs to buy for specific sectors.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSource: Bloomberg BanksI'll start with one of the most stellar market segments that you've probably been ignoring: regional banks. Mention regional banks and many investors will yawn and look away, but this is not only one of the best performing segments of the stock market, but also one of the cheapest values right now. Here's the lead, the regional bank stocks embodied in the KBW Regional Bank Index as synthetically represented in the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) has generated a YTD return of 20.88%.That's of course more than twice the S&P Index and there is more to come. Banks have been hobbled by legislative and administrative regulation over the past decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The result has been that banking became a treacherous business resulting in the high-cost of loan origination as well as other consumer and business bank products. But last year saw a series of legislative reforms as well as administrative changes to provide relief for banks -- particularly for regional and smaller banks.In addition, with the Federal Reserve Bank's Open Market Committee (FOMC) working to guide interest rates to more normalized levels, banks have begun to have breathing room to better price deposits and loans resulting in higher net interest margins.Then there is the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which has resulted in improving net profitability for domestic banks.The stock market didn't really care until now. But since many of the quality banks in the KRE ETF are still valued at either discounts or smaller premiums of book value than traditionally valued, banks are still very good value.Source: Bloomberg REITsNext up is another market segment that's done better than the S&P 500 for the year while continuing to provide better performance over last year as well. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to benefit from the stronger U.S. economy, which fosters demand for properties and supports rising lease income. The result is that REITs are being recognized for their underlying good assets on top of the higher yields offered. * 10 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy to Pay the Bills One of the best REIT ETFs to buy is the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ). This ETF has exposure to some of the best REITs in the U.S. market. The YTD return is running at 11.87%. Moreover, REITs, much like banks noted above are still valued at a lower price-to-book ratio than tradition levels pre-2007. Add in the additional benefit of the TCJA providing individual investors with a 20% deduction of taxable income from REIT dividends and the REIT space looks even more lucrative.Source: Bloomberg Preferred StockSimilar to the other investment segments above, preferred stock is another overlooked sector of the market. Preferred stock provides a bond-like investment with higher established dividend yields that can be depended upon for income in any portfolio. And they also provide a good backstop for portfolios when, not just if, the general common stock market takes a pause or worse.Preferred stocks are faring well so far this year. And one of the easiest means for "synthetically" investing is in the iShares Preferred & Income Securities ETF (NASDAQ:PFF). The ETF has turned in a YTD return of 6.20%. And it offers a nice dividend yield currently running at 5.61%.Source: Bloomberg UtilitiesUtilities also provided a good alternative to the general stock market's downturns last year. And so far this year, utilities continue to perform well. Utilities are typically structured between regulated and unregulated business units. The regulated businesses provide core local essential services with rate charges and margins set by local public utility commissions (PUCs). This provides dependable profits that form the base for reliable dividends making utilities good hedges for vacillating general stock markets.The unregulated businesses are typically ancillary activities on a national or global scale often involving power generation and transmission or pipeline operations. It is this side of the utilities that provides companies and their shareholders with further growth opportunities as well as higher dividend distributions. * 8 Cheap Stocks That Cost Less Than $10 One of the best ETFs to invest in the utilities segment is the Vanguard Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:VPU). The ETF has a YTD return of 7.02% and provides exposure to a great collection of utilities with regulated and unregulated business units. In addition, it also generates and pays a nice dividend along the way currently yielding 3.22%.Source: Bloomberg HealthcareThe U.S. is a nation that is aging and becoming ever less healthy. This isn't a good mix for one of the leading economies of the planet. In a recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census, by 2035, which is not that far away, it is projected that 78 million folks will be 65 years or older. And by that same year, those at or under the age of 18 years will be 76 million.This will be a significant change in the demographics of the nation, which has traditionally been a younger nation with more healthy and able folks to produce more for the economy.And it gets worse when it comes to the health of the overall population whether old or young. The Mayo Clinic recently released its extensive study of the health of the population and is saying that 3% or less is living a healthy lifestyle. This is not surprising as all that it takes is to take a stroll around many neighborhoods around the nation and do some people watching. We are a nation of fatter people that don't look like they could run up a flight of stairs let alone walk up one.The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) just released a study and survey that indicates that 36.50% of the U.S. population is obese. This sets up the nation for more diabetes and all of the ancillary health effects of that disease. And then there is heart health and its complications. And if you're obese, slipping and falling is easier to do resulting in more injury risks.Add in a high poverty rate which can lead to further health challenges for young and old and other factors showing health troubles, including infant mortality and the nation doesn't look too healthy.And of course, last year we saw that life expectancy in the U.S. population stopped seeing improvements with some segments dropping in life years still to come. And as we know, the end of the line is where healthcare really ramps up to keep those alive a bit longer.No wonder that healthcare spending is big in the U.S. and climbing quickly. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), healthcare spending increased in 2017 by 3.90% to $3.9 trillion or $10,739 per person. This represents 17.90% of the then gross domestic product of the U.S. (GDP).And it is getting worse. The CMS projects that spending between 2017 through 2016 will continue to rise by an average annual rate of 5.50%, reaching $5.7 trillion. And given projections for GDP for the period, that would come closer to 20% of the overall economy.Now this isn't good news for the U.S. population, but it does provide for a silver lining for us as investors as investing in health is a good source for income and gains, even though they come from the increasingly ill of the economy.One of the best ways to get general exposure to the healthcare market is through the Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT). This ETF has generated a YTD return of 8.11% and provides for well-diversified exposure to the leading healthcare stocks in the U.S. market.Source: Bloomberg Information TechnologyInformation technology continues to be one of the more exciting market segments that is easy to grab the attention of individual investors. After all, who doesn't like the latest new gotta-have gadgets whether in hand-held devices or the latest apps. This segment has plenty of companies that grab headlines and consumers' interest year in and year out.But one of the bigger stories isn't just about the next new-new thing, but rather the new way of making profits. More technology companies are moving away from depending on unit sales of gizmos and apps and more toward subscription sales. This is resulting in the rise of recurring income, which is not only more reliable than one-off unit sales, but it also provides the ability for technology companies to build-up their technology empires with more certainty.The result is that the companies in this space that have been successfully shifting to recurring income are driving more profits and better performing shares. That was the case last year in the segment generating positive returns, but also so far this year. * 7 of the Best Biotech ETFs The easy way to invest in the best of the information technology segment is in the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT). This ETF has generated a YTD return of a whopping 15.98% and given the demand for the underlying products and services including for cloud computing and the emergence of fifth-generation wireless communications (5G), this segment and the ETF should remain in the green for the year.Source: Bloomberg Oil & GasOil and gas remain a lucrative market as the U.S. continues to emerge as the world's leading producer of the petrol patch. Global demand remains robust for crude oil and refined products and natural gas particularly in more easily transportable liquified natural gas (LNG) is driving profits for U.S. companies.In addition, the softer pricing, particularly for crude oil, prior to last year provided the incentive for producers to increase their field exploration and production (E&P) efficiencies. This, in turn, is providing for profitability, even at lower crude oil and natural gas prices.And one of the limitations for U.S. companies has been the lack of additional capacities in pipeline and marine terminal facilities for both oil and gas. But thankfully to the current administration, approvals have spurred additional and expanded lines and facilities providing for more deliverable petrol for more cashflows for U.S. companies.And then we have the Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries plus Russia (OPEC+). OPEC+ has come through with production limits which is also aiding petrol prices and operating margins for U.S. petroleum companies.The best ETF to invest in this segment is the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE). This ETF has exposure to the up, down and midstream petrol companies. And it has generated a great YTD return of 15.29% with many inside the market segment still valued at lower levels of underlying book and trailing sales. Add in the dividend yield of 3.22%, and it makes for another in my collection of best ETFs for growth and income.Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Consumer Stocks to Buy and Hold for Years * 4 China Stocks Soaring on Trade Hopes * 3 Esports Stocks to Benefit From the Boom Compare Brokers The post 7 of the Best ETFs to Buy for a Rock-Solid Portfolio appeared first on InvestorPlace.