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Utilities stocks (and ETFs) have generally fared quite well in the last few years, thanks to an interest in low volatility and high dividends among cautious and concerned investors. But there is perhaps reason to now be cautious looking forward; electricity use is declining, threatening the stability of one of the most stable sectors and forcing major utilities to seek out new revenue sources [for other investing and money management tips, check out the Money Management Tips Center over at].

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The first half of 2011 is officially in the books, and many investors find their portfolios in approximately the same place as they were to start the year (though a furious rally in the final week of the quarter gave a nice boost at an opportune moment). Most major equity indexes are up slightly on the year, while fixed income benchmarks have similarly hovered around breakeven. Beyond these broad generalizations, there are some significant performance discrepancies among exchange-traded products that may seem to offer up similar risk/return profiles.

The following tables highlight the top performers from every ETFdb Category during the first six months of the year, shedding some light on the asset classes that have struggled and thrived so far in 2011–and reinforcing that the seemingly minor distinctions between ETPs can lead to big differences in performance [for monthly updates on the best performers, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter]: [click to continue…]

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Even the most vocal supporters of passive management and indexing have to admit that certain investor track records are far too stellar to attribute entirely to luck. While I’ve frequently disparaged the concept of active investing, I’m still eager to hear what trends legendary investors are following. The Wall Street Journal’s Gregory Zuckerman recently compiled some […]

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