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With more than 1,500 ETFs available on the market today, investors have grown comfortable with utilizing some of the more sophisticated strategies out there for fine tuning their exposure and tapping into previously difficult-to-reach asset classes. When it comes to tactical allocation, the sheer diversity among ETFs comes in handy; investors can pick and choose from an array of country, sector, asset class, and style-specific funds. Innovation in the ETF industry has in turn spawned a variety of alternative weighting methodologies, offering new ways to access traditional market capitalization-weighted indexes [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn]. [click to continue…]

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10 Questions About ETFs You’ve Been Too Afraid To Ask

by on February 5, 2013 | Updated December 8, 2014

As the exchange-traded world continues to expand, many investors find themselves asking the same questions about how these products work. Of course, not everyone is as vocal about their curiosities, leaving a number of unanswered questions in the space. In an ongoing effort to keep you educated about the ETF world, we mapped out ten questions you may have been too afraid to ask [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time]. [click to continue…]

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For ETF Investors, The Details Matter

by on January 10, 2011 | Updated June 30, 2014

When constructing a portfolio, most investors focus on the decisions that seem to have the most significant impact on the risk/return profile delivered. How much should be allocated to stocks vs. bonds? What breakdown between developed and emerging markets is desired? What sectors should be overweight, and which should be avoided? These decisions obviously go […]


Ten Commandments Of ETF Investing

by on October 21, 2010 | Updated June 30, 2014

As ETFs have burst on to the scene in the early 2010s and worked their way into the investing mainstream, the number of products available and complexity of exposure offered has increased significantly. Advisors and investors have taken steps to educate themselves on the ins and outs of ETFs, but many are still scrambling to play […]


The meteoric rise of the ETF industry–and to a smaller extent the introduction of index mutual funds some 20 years earlier–has had the effect of transforming indexes from hypothetical measures of performance into investable assets. As indexing strategies continue to gain more widespread acceptance with all levels of investors, the scrutiny of construction and maintenance […]

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The rapid growth of the ETF industry in recent years has altered the investment landscape in more ways than one. The low expense ratios offered by most exchange-traded products have brought increased scrutiny on active managers and called into question their ability to add value to client portfolios. The immediate diversification offered by a basket […]

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Beyond SPY: Nine Alternatives To S&P 500 ETFs

by on April 21, 2010 | Updated December 8, 2014

When ETFs began to make their way into the investing mainstream, almost all products were “plain vanilla” funds linked to well known stock benchmarks, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. But as the popularity of ETFs has surged, so too has the number of product offerings, with approximately 30 issuers now […]


What’s In A Name: A Look Inside ETF Tickers

by on February 3, 2010 | Updated June 12, 2014

Whenever a company prepares for a public offering, executives have been known to spend an inordinate amount of time choosing the combination of letters that will serve as the company’s ticker and often nickname within the investment community. To many, the fixation on selecting the perfect ticker seems like an irrational obsession on par with […]


The S&P 500 is one of the most widely-followed benchmarks in the world, a bellweather of the American economy that is included in the Index of Leading Indicators. Composed of 500 of the largest stocks listed in the U.S. (as well as a handful of non-U.S. companies), the S&P 500 has a weighted average market […]

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Advisors and individuals who favor a tactical asset allocation to investing have historically analyzed broad macroeconomic trends and statistics to identify asset classes and sectors poised deliver strong returns. In the early days of the ETF industry, this meant homing in on a certain sector or style and picking the fund that tracked that segment. […]

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