Given the company's massive pile of cash and numerous acquisitions throughout 2010, a growing crowd of market commentators are looking to Google as the General Electric of the 21st century. Using exchange-traded funds, it is possible to gain ample exposure to either of these firms.
Throughout 2010, Google has been on a remarkable shopping spree. Often considered a one trick pony, the tech goliath has taken a number of steps in hopes of expanding beyond the search engine business which has traditionally been the firm's bread and butter.
Since February, the company has bought at least one name a month, expanding its reach into various outlets. Companies acquired by the firm in 2010 include industries such as social gaming, photo editing, advertising, and travel technology.
Google's Android operating system is quickly gaining market share among smart phone users, pitting it head to head with other wireless industry leaders such as Apple.
The firm is also becoming increasingly involved in the alternative energy realm as well. Google recently announced that it was teaming with a collection of other firms to invest $5 billion in a massive offshore wind farm slated to be built along the East Coast of the U.S., stretching from New Jersey to Virginia.
ETF investors confident in Google's chances of becoming the next big U.S. conglomerate should look to the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN). This fund is designed to track a basket of companies which are leading the way when it comes to the Internet industry.
Google is the fund's top holdings representing nearly 12% of the fund's total index. Other holdings include Amazon, Salesforce and Netflix .
General Electric has long been a household name when it comes to U.S. conglomerates. However, the firm has struggled to regain its footing after nearly collapsing amidst the financial meltdown leading up to the most recent global economic crisis.