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The last five years have seen a tremendous expansion of the ETF industry, as assets have skyrocketed and the number of products available to U.S.-based investors has multiplied. That same period of time has also been a period of tremendous volatility in global financial markets; the last five years have witnessed an unprecedented financial crisis, one of the most severe recessions in history, and a remarkable recovery in both 2009 and 2010.

A look back at the performance of exchange-traded funds over the last five years (ending October 31) highlights the tremendous growth of the ETF industry as well as the challenging realities of recent history. Though there are now more than 1,350 ETPs, only 330 or so were launched before November 2006. Of those that are still in existence, about half have delivered negative returns over that period–a remarkable testament to the impact that the volatility of recent years has had on portfolios. [click to continue…]

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No corner of the ETF market has grown as quickly in recent years as exchange-traded commodities, as investors have embraced cheap and efficient exposure to an asset class that has historically been out-of-reach for all but the biggest and most sophisticated. Perhaps due to the uncertain economic environment, precious metals funds have become particularly popular, offering a safe haven for those concerned about the strength on the current recovery. While some ETPs offer exposure to gold and silver through futures-backed funds, most investors prefer physically-backed ETFs that will generally move in lock step with spot commodity prices. [click to continue…]

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The Ultimate Guide To PALL (Palladium ETF)

by on January 9, 2010 | Updated January 12, 2010

As the ETF industry has expanded in recent years, a significant portion of growth has come from the tremendous rise in popularity of exchange-traded commodity products. In addition to broad-based funds such as DBC or DJCI, several commodity-specific products have accumulated billions of dollars in assets, and several were even among the very largest of […]