The Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF (MOAT), which debuted in late April 2012, has crossed the much ballyhooed $100 million in assets under management mark the fund's sponsor announced today. MOAT had $114 million in AUM as of January 4, according to Market Vectors data.
MOAT was introduced an avenue for investors to tap into so called wide moat businesses, or those companies with deep competitive advantages, an investing virtue extolled by legendary value investor Warren Buffett. The fund tracks the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index.
Morningstar's wide-moat analysis seeks to identify companies that possess one or more sustainable competitive advantages and are expected to have high returns on invested capital relative to their cost of capital, according to a statement issued by Market Vectors. That means the Morningstar research team hunts for sustainable competitive advantages or factors such as intangible assets, cost advantages, switching costs network effects and efficient scale.
MOAT, which has an annual expense ratio of 0.49 percent, is home to 21 stocks with none receiving an allocation of more than 5.34 percent. Top-10 holdings include Weight Watchers (WTW), Northern Trust (NTRS), Oracle (ORCL) and National Oilwell Varco (NOV). Nearly 75 percent of MOAT's holdings have market values of $5 billion or more.
As measured by AUM, MOAT was the fifth-most successful equity-based ETF launched last year, according to the statement. From MOAT's inception through the end of last year, the ETF outperformed the S&P 500 by 5.13 percent.
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