This is the first in a series of posts which outline the five biggest companies held in an index fund held within an investment portfolio. An index fund is an investment fund constructed to track a particular stock market index like the US S&P 500. Top holdings in a typical USA index fund are outlined here.
Think like an owner – knowing the actual companies that you hold in index funds will help in understanding that you own slices of real companies which provide value and generate income.
USA economy and target portfolio allocation
With the largest national economy in the world, the United States is home to some of the biggest and most innovative global companies. The country has a 23% share of global nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the total value of goods and services produced by a country in a given year. Due to this significant proportion, I believe that it is essential for every serious investor to hold USA stocks within their portfolio. I am based in the UK and have a target allocation of 30% USA stocks for my portfolio.
I will now get straight into the top 5 holdings in the USA fund.
APPLE INC. (AAPL)
Apple Inc, incorporated in 1977, one of the biggest and most innovative global technology companies, manufactures a range of hardware including iPhones, iPads, TV streaming boxes and smartwatches. Additionally, Apple produces software including a mobile operating system (iOS), Mac OS for personal computers and watch OS for smartwatches. The company also delivers digital content consisting of apps, music and video via its internet services platforms.
Apple Inc. makes up 2.68% of my USA index fund and has a projected dividend yield of 1.67%. The company’s 10 year annual return is 28.40% which is very impressive. Latest 5 year returns for Apple stocks are:
MICROSOFT CORP. (MSFT)
Microsoft Corporation, incorporated in 1993, is a leading technology company which is mostly known for the Windows operating system. Microsoft develops, licences and supports a wide range of software applications including Personal Computer (PC) Operating Systems, cloud services, enterprise applications and video games. Other services provided by Microsoft are training and certification, personal and corporate productivity solutions, and web related solutions.
Like most, I have used Microsoft products throughout my education and working career. It is likely that the company will keep generating solid returns for the long term investor.
Microsoft makes up 2.08% of my USA index fund and has a projected dividend yield of 2.4%. The company’s 10 year annual return is a respectable 10.11%. Latest 5 year returns for Microsoft stocks are:
EXXON MOBIL CORP. (XOM)
Exxon Mobil Corporation, incorporated in 1888, is the largest American energy company. The company operates on a global level and is involved in oil exploration and extraction, and the processing, refinement and transportation of petroleum products. Exxon’s business activities encompass both upstream and downstream operations.
We all use petrochemical products in some way, from fuel for vehicles to heating our homes so energy companies will continue to provide investors’ with returns in the form of healthy dividends and capital growth.
Exxon Mobil makes up 1.44% of my USA index fund and has a projected dividend yield of 3.61% which is reasonably high. The company’s 10 year annual return is 3.97%. Latest 5 year returns for Exxon Mobil stocks are:
AMAZON.COM INC. (AMZN)
Amazon.com, incorporated in 1996, is a household brand which offers a wide range of services via its online platform, in particular a marketplace for selling and buying of goods. The company was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos. Amazon also offers electronic products such as the Kindle range and also digital media content. Amazon Prime services offer free two day shipping, unlimited video and TV shows, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle library.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a cloud based platform, with services such as cloud computing, networking, databases and storage for use by a range of customers from start ups to multi-nationals.
Amazon.com Inc. makes up 1.34% of my USA index fund. The company does not pay dividends to Shareholders, instead reinvesting into growing the business. The company’s 10 year annual return is an epic 36.19%. Latest 5 year returns for Amazon stocks are:
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. (BRK.A)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a multinational conglomerate, traces its roots all the way back to 1839. With Warren Buffett as CEO, the company owns a wide array of businesses offering products including lollipops, clothing, industrial lubricants, insurance, energy, housing, railways and airplanes. Berkshire also has a large diversified portfolio of high quality stocks.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. makes up 1.29% of my USA index fund. The company does not pay dividends to Shareholders. Berkshire has never paid a dividend – the company reinvests in its business to expand and grow territorially. The company’s 10 year annual return is a solid 9.58%. Latest 5 year returns forBerkshire Hathaway stocks are:
Above are the top five holdings in the USA index fund in my portfolio. For overviews of the top 5 companies in typical index funds for other world regions click below: