Healthcare ETF

Healthcare ETFs are sector-specific ETF investments that focus on general healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and bio-tech securities. Healthcare ETFs offer the potential for high earnings since they have outperformed the overall U.S. economy in recent years; additionally, they typically offer a diverse mix of healthcare oriented securities across a wide range of the overall market. Most healthcare ETFs are market cap weighted with a higher percentage of the fund portfolio devoted to major healthcare industry leaders.

Types of healthcare ETFs


Sector ETFs are usually classified according to the level of diversification and exposure they offer to the investor. Global healthcare ETFs, as their name suggests, incorporate international healthcare securities and provide exposure especially in the European pharmaceutical industries. Broad national ETFs concentrate on the U.S. market, while major industry sector ETFs are designed to offer exposure to one or more of the main subtypes in the healthcare market. Finally, investors can choose an ETF that focuses on one narrow element within the overall healthcare and pharma fields, limiting their exposure and putting their money exactly where they believe profit potential is highest.

Healthcare ETF list


Because healthcare ETFs spring up every day, a comprehensive healthcare ETF list is not possible. However, here are some of the biggest names in the healthcare ETF market.

iShares ETFs

  • iShares Standard and Poor’s Global Healthcare Sector Index Fund (IXJ)
  • iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index Fund (IBB)
  • iShares Dow Jones United States Healthcare Sector Index Fund (IYH)
  • iShares Dow Jones United States Pharmaceuticals Index Fund (IHE)
  • iShares Dow Jones United States Healthcare Providers Index Fund (IHF)
  • iShares Dow Jones United States Medical Devices Index Fund (IHI)

SPDR ETFs

  • SPDR Standard and Poor’s Biotech ETF (XBI)
  • SPDR Standard and Poor’s Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH)

PowerShares ETFs

  • PowerShares Dynamic Biotechnology and Genome Portfolio (PBE)
  • PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio (PJP)

ProShares ETFs

  • ProShares Ultra Health Care ETF (RXL)
  • ProShares UltraShort Health Care ETF (RXD)

iShares healthcare ETF


Founded in 1993 as World Equity Benchmark Shares (WEBS), iShares was a joint venture of Barclays Global Investors and Morgan Stanley. The company was renamed later when other iShares ETFs were released. Investors can choose to invest in a global iShares healthcare ETF incorporating securities from all over the world, or narrow their investment focus to just one sector of the healthcare ETF market. The iShares family of investments dominates the ETF market; as a result, iShares healthcare ETF offerings are diverse and cover most of the major healthcare investment sectors. High performance and diversity of funds make iShares one of the best healthcare ETF options for investors.

Healthcare ETFs are focused on one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy and typically outperform most other types of ETFs. Growth is expected to continue due to ongoing medical research and an aging population, making a healthcare ETF a solid addition to any investor’s portfolio. Finding the best healthcare ETF is a matter of market research and shrewd analysis of current trends in the healthcare field.
Tim Ord
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