Investing in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

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BlackRock iShares ETFs

With 222 ETFs for sale and $475 billion in ETF assets (about 45 percent of the U.S. ETF market), iShares is the undisputed market leader. The firm behind iShares, BlackRock, Inc., merged in 2009 with Barclays [more…]

State Street Global Advisers (SSgA) SPDRs ETF

State Street’s flagship ETF, the first ETF on the U.S. market, is the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). It boasts almost $80 billion in net assets, nearly twice the assets of any other stock ETF on the market. That [more…]

Vanguard ETFs

In 2001, Vanguard launched its first ETF. It goes without saying that the people at Vanguard know something about index investing. In 1976, Vanguard launched the first index-based mutual fund for the retail [more…]

The Vanguard Edge with Mutual Funds and ETFs

If you own a Vanguard mutual fund and you want to convert to the Vanguard ETF that tracks the same index, you can do so without any tax ramifications.

The conversion is tax-free because you will actually [more…]

Invesco PowerShares ETFs

Invesco PowerShares, number four in size and number two in number of ETF offerings, hesitates to call all but five of its 120 ETFs “actively managed” and instead refers to them as “dynamic.” [more…]

ETFs: T. Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, and Scottrade

Three discount brokerage houses that house exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are T. Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, and Scottrade. All three are well-known within the investing community, each with its own advantages [more…]

ProShares ETFs

ProShares offers nearly the same number of ETFs as PowerShares. The Short QQQ ProShares (PSQ) allows you to short the NASDAQ 100: If the NASDAQ goes down 5 percent tomorrow, your ETF will go up [more…]

Van Eck Global Market Vectors ETFs

There isn’t a single investment offered by Van Eck that your grandfather ever heard of, never mind invested in! All 35 Market Vectors ETFs offered by Van Eck Global are in “alternative” asset classes. [more…]

WisdomTree ETFs

WisdomTree Investments out of New York, with some fairly big-gun backers, issued 20 ETFs in June 2006. It has since launched 30 more but has closed 10 of the original lot. [more…]

Guggenheim ETFs

With its takeover of Rydex SGI in 2011, Guggenheim became eighth among U.S.-based ETF providers, with about $11 billion in assets. It is an interesting company with an unusual mix of products. [more…]

The Indexers of ETFs

At the core of every ETF is an index. The index is the blueprint on which the ETF is based. Some ETF providers use old, established indexes. Others create their own, often in conjunction with seasoned [more…]

The Middlemen of ETFs

In the beginning, most ETFs were traded on the American Stock Exchange. In July 2005, however, iShares decided to move its primary listings for 81 of its ETFs to the New York Stock Exchange, citing superior [more…]

The Wannabe Middlemen of ETFs

The wannabe middlemen of ETFs are about as necessary as forks in a soup kitchen, but be assured that they will continue to try to muscle in on the money. [more…]

ETFs without Borders: Global Investments

If you were standing on a ship in the middle of the ocean, and you looked up and squinted real hard, you would see ETF investment dollars sailing overhead. [more…]

The Ups and Downs of Global ETF Markets

If you expect emerging market stocks and, thus, ETFs to continue to clock such phenomenal returns, you are sure to be disappointed. If you expect European stock markets to do half again as much as the [more…]

ETF Diversification: Shoot for Low Correlation

Why, you may ask, do you need European and Japanese stocks in your ETFs when you already have all the lovely diversification: large, small, value, and growth stocks, and a good mix of industries? The answer [more…]

Frontier Markets: Potential Emerging Markets for ETFs

Of late, a number of ETFs, including the PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries Portfolio (PMNA), the Guggenheim Frontier Markets ETF (FRN), and the Market Vectors Gulf States ETF [more…]

iShares Value and Growth ETFs

Studies show that the same value premium — the tendency for value stocks to outperform growth stocks — that seemingly exists with U.S. ETFs can be found around the world. Therefore, you might consider [more…]

Pick REIT ETFs for Your Portfolio

Although more than 30 REIT ETFs are currently available to U.S. investors, a handful really stand out for their low costs and reasonable indexes. In fact, making the selection shouldn’t be all that hard [more…]

Commodity ETFs: A Vastly Improved Way to Buy Gold

When, in November 2004, State Street Global Advisors introduced the first gold ETF, it was a truly revolutionary moment. You buy a share just as you would buy a share of any other security, and each share [more…]

Commodity ETFs: To Buy Silver or Not to Buy Silver

In April 2006, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) ETF was introduced. When you buy a share of SLV, you obtain virtual ownership of 10 ounces of silver. But, to say that silver is volatile is a gross understatement [more…]

Commodity ETFs: The Story of the United States Oil Fund

The United States Oil Fund (USO) opened on the American Stock Exchange on April 10, 2006. Even though the fund is technically not an ETF but a very close cousin called a [more…]

Commodity ETFs: The Sad Saga of Contango

ETF investor should use much caution before investing in commodities, especially in funds that use futures and other derivatives. The explanation for lies in something called [more…]

Commodity ETFs: A Couple of Broad Picks for Your Portfolio

If you want direct commodity exposure in your investment portfolio, consider that a number of the newest ETFs and ETNs are promising to deal with some of the problems of the first-generation commodity [more…]

Commodity ETFs: Commodity Exposure by Tapping Commodity Companies

This introduces you to ETFs that let you invest in the stocks of companies in the oil and gas sector, in mining, and in the broader category of “natural resources” or “materials.” Do your research, but [more…]


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