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Looking at Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock? Why Most Investors Don’t Need It

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Few stocks have raised more controversy and debate lately than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with the stratospheric rise and similarly devastating decline in its stock price over the past year. But if you’re considering whether to add Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock to your portfolio, consider one key thing: Odds are, you already own plenty of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, even if you don’t even realize it.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Why you can’t escape Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock
The place where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is hiding in millions of investors’ portfolios is in their holdings of exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. Just about everywhere you look, you’ll find fairly high concentrations of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock in those pooled investments. That’s because despite its recent decline, Apple still ranks in the top two companies in the U.S. stock market in terms of market capitalization, and that’s enough to give it plenty of weight in some of the most widely followed index investments in the financial markets.

Take a look at some of the investments that give millions of investors indirect exposure to Apple stock:

The widely held SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY), with $130 billion in assets under management, has a 2.6% allocation to Apple. Put another way, the ETF owns 8.8 million shares of Apple stock, representing almost 1% of the tech giant’s total outstanding shares.

The tech-tracking PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (ETF) (NASDAQ:QQQ) tracks the much less inclusive Nasdaq 100 index, which includes the largest non-financial companies traded on the Nasdaq exchange. There, Apple has an 11% allocation, with the ETF owning more than 9.3 million shares of Apple stock. Think of it this way: For every 100 shares of the ETF you own, you indirectly own almost two shares of Apple, along with shares of dozens of other companies.

Among index mutual funds, the story is much the same. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Class (MUTF:VFINX) owns 8.9 million shares of Apple, representing an almost 3% weighting in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY)-tracking fund. The

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares, meanwhile, is the biggest fund owner of Apple stock, with 13.1 million shares held.

Nor are these funds particularly unusual. Overall, Apple is one of the favorite holdings among institutional investors. Yahoo! Finance reports that almost 2,000 different institutions own Apple shares, with giants like State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT), Fidelity, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) among the top institutional holders of Apple stock.

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