In the past year, I’ve written several positive articles about Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Alibaba stock. The most recent being in January when I suggested three ways BABA gets to $400.
“The concerns of investors regarding its corporate governance aside, I’m on the Alibaba bandwagon until it gives me a reason to step off,” I wrote Jan. 25. “$400 by June 2019 at this point seems possible, if not probable. I wouldn’t be afraid to buy it, but I would save some cash just in case the markets decide to correct.”
Alibaba stock is off 10% since I wrote those words with $400 looking less likely by the day, and while I haven’t given up on Jack Ma, the concerns brought up recently by my InvestorPlace colleague James Brumley along with Seeking Alpha contributor Rohit Chhatwal has me considering alternative investment options than Alibaba.
Alibaba’s Got a Big Target on Its Forehead
Brumley’s Apr. 20 article discussed how Alibaba’s competitors are partnering up to better understand the consumer so they can take market share from Jack Ma.
“Enter SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) and JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD). The former operates one of China’s search engines, and the latter is of course China’s second-biggest e-commerce outfit,” Brumley wrote.
“The two have teamed up to share information that will ultimately give both parties greater insight about consumer behaviors. Not that Alibaba isn’t armed with plenty of consumer behavior data of its own, but it’s a direct jab at China’s e-commerce powerhouse.”
I also happen to be a fan of JD.com CEO Richard Liu and what he’s doing in Chinese e-commerce, so it got me wondering how investors could hedge their bets on Alibaba stock while also benefiting from the good things Liu is doing.
Then I read Rohit Chhatwal’s Apr. 17 article about Pinduoduo, a new challenger to Alibaba in Chinese e-commerce that uses the power of the crowd to cut out the middleman, delivering better prices for online merchandise. The company is partially owned by Tencent Holding/ADR (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) who just happen to also have a 21% interest in JD.com.
While reading the comments at the end of the article, I happened to see one by Stratton Oakmont, and then the answer hit me.
“I buy them all equally weighted on every major pullback,” wrote the Seeking Alpha subscriber. “I don’t care who wins.”
Find an Equal-Weighted ETF
That’s easier said than done.
Although there are many equal-weighted ETFs, finding one that specializes in emerging markets such as China isn’t in the cards.
However, First Trust uses equal weighting in many of its ETFs, so I went to its site for an answer. I came up with the First Trust ISE ChIndia Index Fund ETF (NYSEARCA:FNI) which uses a partial equal-weighting methodology to come up with the 25 best stocks in both China and India.
FNI is rebalanced semiannually, ranking companies in each country by market cap and liquidity. The top-three ranked stocks are weighted at 7%, the next three at 4%, the three after that at 2%, and the remaining 16 are equally weighted at approximately 0.68%.
Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) are the three top stocks from China. They’re all currently weighted below 7% because of the correction in recent weeks.
Bottom Line on Alibaba Stock
The only problem with this alternative investment option to Alibaba stock is that the 50 stocks all must be listed on a U.S. securities exchange which leaves out Tencent and several other popular ADRs that trade over the counter.
However, if you share some of the concerns raised earlier, it’s a good way to play both Alibaba and JD.com and the rest of the growth in China and India without having to pick the ultimate winner.
As of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.