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The expansion of the ETF universe continues to foster innovation as the growing product lineup offers investors numerous instruments at their fingertips when it comes to addressing their investment goals. In fact, with over 1,400+ ETPs to choose from, investors likely have multiple ways of accessing a particular asset class. As with any financial instrument, with innovation also comes complexity; as such, investors should remember to take a good hard look under the hood before jumping into a position because seemingly similar products often times bear noteworthy differences [see also 3 ETF Trading Tips You Are Missing].

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For many investors, March 9, 2009 was a major turning point; on that day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 6,550, capping a disastrous stretch that had erased billions of dollars from portfolios around the world. Fortunately, that proved to be the low point of the recent recession; the next day markets rallied, and continued to move generally higher throughout the end of the year.

So it should be no surprise that most ETFs offering exposure to risky asset classes now boast impressive three year return figures; most are well into positive territory, and many have more than doubled over the past 36 months or so. What is perhaps surprising is the list of the best performers in the three years following the depths of the recession; some of the ETFs that have delivered the most impressive returns over this period are not household names, and cover asset classes that might not have been expected to climb quite so high:  [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 […]


Last year was a good year for most asset classes, as investor portfolios continued to recover from the recent recession. The difference in performance between many comparable funds was significant, and many of the best performers of 2010 are relatively small funds that maintain considerably smaller asset bases than their more popular competitors. Below, we […]

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When discussing their portfolios and asset allocation tactics, many investors and advisors indicate their preference for either value and growth investing in an effort to define their general investment strategy. ETF investors are no different, with dozens of funds that tilt their holdings towards each strategy offering ways to construct portfolios designed to take advantage […]

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