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ETF Alternatives To The World’s Largest Mutual Funds

by on December 6, 2010 | Updated May 15, 2013

It may be premature to hit the print button for the death certificate of active management, but changes to the investing landscape over the last several years have forced a reassessment of the value proposition this strategy offers. Research suggesting that active managers fail to add value is, of course, nothing new. Over the last several decades, a number of academic studies have suggested that on the whole, active managers fail to consistently beat the market, and that the majority of mutual funds fail to beat their benchmark after costs are taken into consideration. This frustration with the costs of active management paved the way for the rise of indexing as an investment strategy, as many investors have preferred to own the market through a low cost vehicle rather than pay hefty fees to a manager to occasionally beat the market. [click to continue…]

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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 catch-up and unaware of the complexities these products can present.

What began as a handful of securities seeking to replicate widely-known stock and bond indexes has grown into a lineup of more than 1,000 funds, offering exposure to nearly every asset class, region, and investment strategy imaginable. While this impressive growth has enhanced the arsenal of securities available to ETF investors, it has also created the potential for misuse and made finding the right ticker symbol a bit more challenging. And while ETFs offer countless potential advantages relative to strategies that revolve around mutual funds and individual stocks, there are some potential pitfalls along path to enhanced cost and tax efficiency. Below, we offer up ten pieces of advice that will help to maximize the benefits of exchange-traded products for all types of investors, including tips on minimizing expenses, avoiding potential pitfalls, and picking the right fund for your portfolio [for more ETF insights, sign up for our free ETF newsletter]: [click to continue…]


As the ETF industry has expanded at a breakneck pace in recent years, keeping track of all the products out there has become no easy task. There are now well more than 1,000 exchange-traded products included in the ETF Screener, and many of those have hit the market in the last two to three years.

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The impressive ETF boom of the last several years has in many ways changed the investing landscape quite dramatically. Although index mutual funds have been around for more than 30 years, the introduction of low-cost ETFs has many investors questioning the merits of pricey active management [see Two Cases Against Active Management]. The introduction of […]

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ETFs vs. Mutual Funds: Breaking Down Expense Ratios

by on April 28, 2010 | Updated July 8, 2014

Although ETFs offer many potential advantages over traditional actively-managed mutual funds, the most commonly-cited benefit is perhaps the easiest to grasp: lower expenses. In order to cover their costs–teams of analysts and pricey analytical tools used in pursuit of alpha–mutual funds typically always charge expense ratios in excess of 1% (and many times north of […]


Why The Cheapest ETFs Aren’t Always The Best

by on November 17, 2009 | Updated June 30, 2014

While the differences between traditional actively-managed mutual funds and exchange-traded products include several somewhat complex distinguishing characteristics, most investors focus on the relatively simple issue of expenses when making comparisons. Due to their passive nature, ETFs generally offer much lower expenses than mutual funds that can employ teams of analysts and conduct thorough research in […]