QQQ ETF Risks and Rewards

QQQ ETF Risks and Rewards

The Invesco QQQ ETF is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index. Because it passively follows the index, the QQQ share price goes up and down along with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100.

Passive management keeps fees low, and investors are rewarded with the full gains of the volatile index if it rises. But they also have to bear the Nasdaq 100’s full losses when it falls. In this article, we explain how the QQQ ETF works and then consider the risks and rewards associated with trading the QQQ.

Key Takeaways

  • The Invesco QQQ ETF is a popular exchange-traded fund that tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index.
  • QQQ holdings are dominated by big technology-related companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Meta (formerly Facebook).
  • The QQQ ETF offers investors big rewards during bull markets, the potential for long-term growth, ready liquidity, and low fees.
  • QQQ usually declines more in bear markets, has high sector risk, often appears overvalued, and holds no small-cap stocks.
  • This ETF allows traders to invest in the largest 100 non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq.

What Is the Invesco QQQ ETF?

QQQ is an ETF that tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index. It has 102 holdings and is the fourth-most popular ETF in the world. The index excludes financial companies and is based on market capitalization. Like the Nasdaq 100, QQQ holdings are heavily weighted toward large-cap technology companies. Assets under management (AUM) at QQQ were $154 billion as of Q3 2022.

The Invesco QQQ ETF was previously known as the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF. It is also informally called the triple-Qs or the cubes. The QQQ ETF is often viewed as a snapshot of how the technology sector is trading.

The Nasdaq 100 Index that the QQQ share price follows is based on a modified capitalization methodology. This modified method uses individual weights of included items according to their market capitalization. Weighting allows constraints to limit the influence of the largest companies and balance the index with all of its members. To accomplish this, Nasdaq reviews the composition of the index each quarter and adjusts weightings if the distribution requirements are not met.

The Invesco QQQ ETF, as opposed to the actual Nasdaq 100 Index, is a marketable security that trades on an exchange. It offers traders a way to invest in the 100 largest non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq.


The average annual return of QQQ was 15.9% during the 10 years ended Q3 2022.

What Companies Make Up the QQQ ETF?

Stock holdings in the QQQ ETF include 100 of the biggest companies in the Nasdaq, which tend to be tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Meta. The top 10 stocks in the portfolio make up over half of its total holdings.

Is QQQ a Good ETF to Buy?

The QQQ ETF is an excellent buy for frequent bullish traders because of its liquidity and superior performance in bull markets. On the other hand, active traders should be aware that QQQ can lose more than the S&P 500 when it goes down. The QQQ ETF offers buy-and-hold investors low expenses and long-term growth potential with enough diversification to avoid the risks of betting on one company. On the downside, long-term investors in QQQ must deal with sector risk, possible overvaluation, and the absence of small caps. Overall, QQQ can be a good long-term investment as part of a larger portfolio.

Does QQQ Pay a Dividend?

Yes, the QQQ has quarterly dividend distributions, with an SEC yield of 0.68% as of Sep. 30, 2022.

Is QQQ the Best Nasdaq ETF?

Finding the best ETF depends on your specific investment goals. QQQ is one of the best choices for active traders who are bullish on large technology companies. It is also one of the most popular Nasdaq-tracking ETFs, although several others also exist.

The Bottom Line

The Invesco QQQ ETF checks many of the boxes short-term traders look for in ETFs, and it also has significant advantages for long-term investors. The ETF offers liquid, cost-efficient exposure to a tech-heavy basket of large-cap, innovative companies. Furthermore, investors benefit from increases in the QQQ share price without being burdened by stock-picking issues.

But those advantages are offset by sector concentration and volatility. Stocks contained within the index also have significantly high valuation levels and P/E ratios. This makes them susceptible to steep increases or declines. There are no small-cap stocks in the index to minimize the reliance on large-cap tech stocks.

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