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ETFs have opened up the doors to previously hard-to-reach reach corners of the market, including foreign equities, commodities and alternative asset classes. Currency ETFs in particular have seen growing interest among investors and traders alike as they greatly simplify the challenges that are otherwise associated with entering the forex market [see How To Take Profits And Cut Losses When Trading ETFs].

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The year-end periods provides the ETF industry with a couple of opportunities to flex its collective muscle; performance comparisons generally tend to favor those products with lower expense ratios–a defining feature of exchange-traded funds. But early January also puts another benefit of exchange-traded products into focus: enhanced tax efficiency relative to traditional mutual funds. The nuances of the exchange-traded structure have the potential to bring additional tax efficiencies to investors thanks to the availability of an “in kind redemption” that ultimately gives investors more control over the timing of tax obligations. Mutual funds, on the other hand, have a nasty tendency to stick remaining shareholders with tax liabilities incurred as a result of redemptions by others–a development that can obviously be undesirable [see Tax Loss Harvesting With ETFs: 6 Ideas To Lower Client Liabilities].

ETFs won’t allow investors to skip out on their taxes, but this product structure can deliver more control and greater efficiency in this regard. It is important to note, however, that not all ETFs are created equal when it comes to tax efficiency. Certain asset classes are less efficient than others; bond ETFs, for example, should be expected to incur capital gains taxes with some regularity.

Below, we run through the capital gains results for several of the largest ETF issuers, beginning with the market leader: [click to continue…]

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As a handful of brave souls find out every four years, running for President of the United States generally involves opening up your personal life to intense examination by opponents, the media, and general public. Generally, the scrutiny focuses on personal histories–arrests, affairs, and lawsuits make for juicy reading. But being a public servant can […]

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Most investors probably never expected that it would never come to this. With only days remaining until the day the government coffers supposedly go dry, a deal to avoid a default remains elusive (one would suspect the August 2 date is at least 72 hours or so in advance of a hard deadline). The back […]

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Inflation ETF Special: 25 ETF Ideas To Fight Rising Prices

by on July 20, 2011 | Updated December 8, 2014

Inflation has always been a particularly frustrating topic among investors, as a spike in prices can be a nasty surprise for investors who are not amply prepared.  Its effects can reduce your real return on an annual basis and make it much more difficult to keep up with your standard of living. Inflation, however, has not […]

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PIMCO, the California-based ETF issuer best known for its active bond funds, has put another active product into its exchange-traded pipeline. The latest proposal from the bond fund giant is the PIMCO Foreign Currency Strategy Exchange-Traded Fund, which would would give investors exposure to foreign currencies through an actively-managed ETF. PIMCO currently offers 13 ETFs, […]

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Complete List Of Active ETFs

by on June 5, 2011 | Updated November 16, 2012

Since PowerShares debuted its first active ETFs in the spring of 2008, this corner of the exchange-traded product market has grown tremendously. Though many active ETFs have been somewhat slow to accumulate assets, the increase in the size of the lineup highlights the trend towards vehicles that combine active management with the exchange-traded structure [see […]

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ETFs have become popular in recent years as tools for establishing low cost and tax-efficient exposure to traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds. But the exchange-traded structure also carries appeal as a means of accessing asset classes that have historically be hard-to-reach or difficult to efficiently maintain. That is certainly the case in […]

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WisdomTree, the ETF issuer behind many of the popular dividend-weighted equity ETFs and currency ETFs, reported its fourth quarter results after the bell on Thursday. As the only publicly-traded “pure play” ETF issuer, WisdomTree offers insights into the financials of ETF issuers and the potential profitability of what has become a huge business.

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In 2010 the ETF industry stumbled coming out of the gate, as more than $17 billion flowed out of exchange-traded products in the first month of the year. This year’s January figures showed an opposite result, as the latest data released by the National Stock Exchange shows that U.S.-listed ETPs took in more than $10 […]

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With the finish line in sight, 2010 has been a generally solid year for commodities as an asset class; strong demand from emerging markets, a shaky dollar, fears about inflation, and a number of supply issues have conspired to send prices of everything from corn to gold to sugar skyward [see Top Five Commodity ETFs […]

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It’s baaaaaaaack. After a brief hiatus that saw investors rushing to determine the best ways to battle deflation, inflationary concerns have begun to surface again. The cause of the latest bout of inflationary anxiety is of course the QE2 program recently announced by the Federal Reserve that calls for the purchase of hundreds of billions […]

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