State Street Global Advisors: Sector SPDRs ETFs - dummies

State Street Global Advisors: Sector SPDRs ETFs

By Russell Wild

In addition to its Select Sector SPDRs, State Street Global Advisors offers more basic ETFs without the “Select” name. The SPDRs industry sector offerings are as follows:

U.S. Sector Fund Name Ticker
SPDR KBW Capital Markets KCE
SPDR KBW Insurance KIE
SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production XOP
SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services XES
SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment XHE
International Sector Fund Name Ticker
SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples Sector ETF IPS
SPDR S&P International Materials Sector ETF IRV
SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF IPW
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF IPK
SPDR S&P International Utilities Sector ETF IPU
SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF RWX
Global Sector Fund Name Ticker
SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF RWO
SDPR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF GNR

A big difference between the Select Sector SPDR and the plain old industry sector SPDR lineups is price, but if you assume that the “Select” names will cost you more, surprise! Whereas the Select Sector SPDRs charge 0.20 percent in management fees, the non-Select Sector SPDRs charge 0.35 percent for the domestic options and 0.50 percent for the international.

Another difference is the exposure. Select Sector SPDRs track large sectors of the economy, such as healthcare and energy. The plain old SPDRs, which happen to be darlings among day traders, track more narrow segments of the market.

Instead of energy, you’re looking at Oil & Gas Exploration & Production or Oil & Gas Equipment & Services, for example. Instead of healthcare, you’re looking at just healthcare equipment. Because of the larger segments of the market, and the lower prices, you’re better off with the Select Sector SPDRs over the SPDRs for any kind of domestic stock exposure.

As for the international side of things, the SPDRs lineup isn’t great. The management fee is a tad higher than you would pay for the iShares global sector ETFs, and the funds are, by and large, not global.

Global sector funds have advantages over international (global refers to the whole planet, whereas international is the planet minus the United States) for the sake of keeping the total number of holdings in the portfolio manageable.

However, State Street recently issued a handful of global sector funds, and in this handful are two really good funds: The SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF (RWO) and, even more impressive, the SDPR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF (GNR). These global selections offer reasonable management fees of 0.50 and 0.40 respectively.

The SPDRs website is full of fabulous tools. Check out especially the Correlation Tracker, SPDR Map of the Market, and the Sector Tracker. (You don’t have to be a SPDRs investor to use the tools.)