If you're like an increasing number of Americans, the first thing you attend to every morning is your smartphone. A recent study by Ericcson ConsumerLab indicated that more than one third of Android/iPhone owners use the device before getting out of bed in the morning.
Somewhat ironic, then, that as the phone has become an even more ubiquitous part of our lives, telecom's weighting in the S&P 500 has been shrinking for more than a decade.
According to research from Bespoke Investment Group, telecom stocks now account for about 3% of the S&P 500, nearly half the 20-year average and down sharply from the 9% weighting the sector commanded during telecom's heyday in the early 1990s. The sector shriveled after the dot.com bust, unlike technology, never really recovered.
Energy stocks, on the other hand, which we've grown accustomed to seeing in the daily news, now account for 12.6% of the index, up from its 20-year average near 9%.
We profiled telecom stocks last year highlighting their attractive income prospects, most of which now seem rather meager compared to the sector's price appreciation. Large-cap stalwarts like Verizon (VZ)
But as was the case last year, some of the strongest names aren't found in the U.S.
BT Group (BT),
My favorite in the sector remains NTT DoCoMo (DCM),
Those looking for international telecom without having to choose individual names might opt for more diversified options like iShares S&P Global Telecommunications (IXP)
Jonathan Hoenig is managing member at Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC. At the time of writing, Hoenig's fund held one of the securities mentioned.