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As the ETF universe continues to expand, more and more issuers are digging deeper into the existing categories, trying to once again carve out their own niche market. From a historical perspective in the ETF universe, small cap stocks have exhibited favorable return profiles relative to their large cap counterparts and because their operations are relatively risky, investors expect to receive additional returns over the long run to compensate for additional volatility. Small cap growth funds focus on this risk and could spell disaster in the wrong hands, or huge returns in the right ones [see Visual History Of The S&P 500].

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Online broker Firstrade has become the latest firm to roll out a commission-free trading platform in an effort to lure ETF investors. The firm announced this week that ten ETFs would be available commission-free on its platform, including funds covering a number of asset classes and strategies. The commission-free ETFs include six Vanguard ETFs, three iShares products, and a PowerShares commodity fund: [click to continue…]

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Free ETF Trading: Comparing All The Options

by on October 22, 2010 | Updated July 9, 2014

As the ETF world continues to grow, the competitive landscape continues to evolve. A growing number of firms have attempted to differentiate themselves by offering unique exposure to asset classes and strategies not previously available–such as funds tracking the Philippine stock market or ETNs linked to the price of industrial metals such as zinc or […]


The reasons for the rise of the ETF industry are numerous: intraday liquidity, (potentially) superior tax efficiency, and enhanced transparency relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds have all contributed to the billions of dollars of inflows that these funds have seen in recent years. But the real attraction for most ETF investors is the reduced […]

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Handicapping Potential iShares Buyers

by on June 8, 2009 | Updated June 9, 2009

In April of this year, Barclays announced that it had agreed to sell its iShares line of ETFs to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion. So why all the speculation lately that BlackRock and other banks are in the running to acquire the fund family? As part of its deal with CVC, Barclays […]

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