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While the bread-and-butter of the ETF industry has been index-tracking products, active ETFs are quickly growing in popularity as several funds have gained critical mass with investors. There are now more than 55 different active ETFs with a combined $13 billion and counting in total assets under management. More importantly, these funds have allowed retail investors to apply professional management to a variety of asset classes and strategies [see 10 Questions About ETFs You've Been Too Afraid To Ask]. [click to continue…]

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Real estate has long been a popular asset class as it tends to offer excellent long-term returns with relatively low correlation to equities and can also serve as a viable hedge against inflation. One of the best things about the expansion of the ETF universe is the extent to which it has spawned numerous vehicles for investors to easily and cost-effectively gain exposure to otherwise out-of-reach areas of the market like real estate. As the largest fund in the space, and one that holds a sizable portfolio of U.S.-focused REITs, the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ, A) warrants a closer look from anyone looking to add real estate exposure to their portfolio [Download 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].

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After a tumultuous 2011 many investors are still finding their footing in the markets as confidence in the global economic recovery remains battered down. Despite persistent volatility in financial markets coupled with a looming debt crisis in Europe, the U.S. economy has demonstrated tremendous resilience; investors on the home front have digested platefuls of better-than-expected […]

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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 […]

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iShares, the largest issuer of U.S. ETFs that was acquired last year by BlackRock, has received SEC approval to introduce actively-managed ETFs. iShares currently offers more than 200 passively-indexes ETFs, and the recent SEC decision opens the door for the company to introduce exchange-traded products not linked to a specific benchmark. iShares ETFs had aggregate […]

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The ETF industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks in large part to a shift by investors towards cost-efficient passive indexing strategies and away from pricey active management. But many in the industry have opined that actively-managed ETFs–in a sense hybrid products that exhibit characteristics of both active mutual funds and […]

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The rise of the ETF industry has been truly remarkable in almost every way. A surge in product offerings has democratized asset classes and investment strategies previously available only to institutions and the super-rich. ETFs have been embraced as an efficient means of accessing everything from copper to Treasuries. And while the industry remains very […]

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To say opinions on the future of active ETFs are mixed would be a major understatement. Nearly two years after PowerShares launched its first line of active ETFs and a year after the much-publicized launch of the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF (GVT), active ETFs remain stuck in first gear. Investors have expressed […]

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The monthly data release of ETF trading data from the National Stock Exchange always provides a comprehensive industry snapshot, detailing fund flows, asset levels, and the latest update on an increasingly-competitive battle for market share. There is no shortage of number-crunching following each release, but most of the analysis focuses on high level industry trends, […]

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T. Rowe Price has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval to launch a line of actively-managed ETFs. In its filing for exemptive relief with the SEC, T. Rowe indicated that its initial fund would invest primarily in domestic fixed income securities, but that it could eventually launch domestic and international equity ETFs, […]

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Once considered a vital “return enhancer” in almost every portfolio, real estate as an asset class has fallen out of favor with investors following its spectacular collapse during (and role in causing) the recent global economic downturn. Real estate was historically embraced because of its potential for delivering excess returns in bull property markets and […]

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Earlier this year, best-selling author Harry Dent , Jr. ventured into the ETF industry, launching the Dent Tactical ETF (DENT) in a move that further blurred the lines between active and passive management. DENT is actively managed by a team of analysts using primarily economic and demographic analysis to determine the overall trend of U.S. […]

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