The stock market is all about the Fed and FAANG. That’s a risky strategy

Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 15:25:41-04

Tech stocks are soaring and investors are salivating about the possibility of lower interest rates from the Federal Reserve. That pretty much sums up how the market has been doing lately.

But Phi Bak, CEO of investment firm Exponential ETFs, thinks that investors may be taking on a little too much risk these days.

The Nasdaq has surged nearly 25% this year as people have plowed into the so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and (to a lesser extent) Google owner Alphabet. Microsoft, which is now worth more than $1 trillion, has also skyrocketed.

Bak told CNN Business that value stocks are getting left behind, as investors focus too much on the likelihood of interest rate cuts juicing the broader market — which has been largely concentrated in the tech sector.

More to the market than Big Tech

Exponential ETFs runs the Reverse Cap Weighted US Large Cap ETF, a fund that’s a twist on the blue chip S&P 500, which is market-weighted and has a heavy focus on FAANG.

Exponential takes the S&P 500 and flips it, so smaller companies like retailers Nordstrom, Gap and L Brands, mall owner Macerich and financial firms Jefferies and Affiliated Managers Group are the largest holdings instead of Big Tech.

This strategy has yielded a slightly better return than the broader market so far this year. The Reverse Cap ETF is up 21% compared to a 20% gain for the S&P 500, proving that there’s money to be made beyond the handful of top tech firms.

Exponential also manages the American Customer Satisfaction ETF, a fund that owns big stakes in companies that consumers love.

Apple, Amazon and Netflix are top holdings in the ETF. But so are Hershey, Alaska Air, Vonage, Clorox, Keurig Dr Pepper and MetLife. This fund is keeping pace with the broader market too, gaining 20% so far this year.

Bak will talk about his firm’s strategy and the broader markets with CNN correspondent Alison Kosik on the “Markets Now” live show Wednesday at 12:45 pm ET.

“Markets Now” streams live from the New York Stock Exchange every Wednesday at 12:45 pm ET. Hosted by CNN Business correspondents, the 15-minute program features incisive commentary from experts.

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