ETF ACADEMY: Am I Exposed?

Ford Motor Company (F) announced today that it plans to dilute shareholders to the tune of $500 million to buy back debt.  As an ETF investor, you should be asking yourself – “Which of my ETFs are exposed to Ford?”.

One way to figure this out is to manually review the holdings of each of your ETFs.  A faster way to get to the answer is to use a reverse look-up tool.

There are 2 main tools that we use at ETF MarketPro and both are free.  (If you have another tool that you like, let us know).

The first tool is from Yahoo Finance.  Open the page for any stock and look in the navigation bar on the left side of the page for “Components”.  Click on this link and Yahoo will tell you which indices include the stock and which ETFs and funds have the stock as a top 10 holding.

A good example is Teva Pharamceuticals (TEVA).  Notice that several ETFs have Teva as a top 10 holding and that iShares’ MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EIS) has nearly a 25% concentration in the stock.

One problem with the Yahoo tool is that if the stock is not a top 10 holding, you won’t get an answer to your exposure question.

Another resource to try is Smart Money’s reverse look-up tool.  Go to the page for any stock in Smart Money’s equity snapshot section and click on “Holders”.  Smart Money will tell you all of the funds and ETFs that hold that stock.

For example, type in the ticker F to see the which funds hold Ford.  Skip past the long list of mutual funds that are riding Ford all the way down and go to page 2.  Here you find that the only ETF that has more than a 1% exposure is the Revenue Shares Large Cap ETF (RWL).

You can use the same tool to discover ETFs that have exposure to companies that are creating shareholder value.  For example, Monsanto (MON) makes up nearly 10% of the Vanguard Materials ETF (VAW) and over 3% of the PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio (PWB).