Today I'm going to give you an update on the ETF landscape. As you'll see, it's changing by the day.
A Trillion Dollars in ETFs
Since I track the statistics in ways no one else does, I think I have the most comprehensive ETF database in the industry. By my count, there were 1,124 U.S.-listed ETFs and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) at the end of last month.
In those 1,124 products were total assets of $1.02 trillion. Yes, trillion! ETF assets are still lower than conventional mutual funds, but the gap is shrinking. ETFs are superior in so many ways I won't be surprised if the proportions flip within a decade.
Here are just a few of the reasons that ETFs are the investment of the future ...
- Liquidity: ETFs can be bought and sold any time the stock markets are open. No need to wait until end of the day.
- Transparency: Unlike mutual funds, ETF sponsors aren't allowed to hide the details of their portfolio holdings. You get to know exactly what you are buying — and you don't have to wait weeks or months to know it.
- Low costs: ETF management fees are almost always lower than comparable mutual funds.
More important, ETFs give you versatility and access to market segments that are very difficult for average investors to buy otherwise. Here are just a few of the categories in which ETFs and/or ETNs are now available:
- Micro Cap
- Socially responsible stocks
- Industry sectors
- Emerging markets
- Frontier markets
- Treasury bonds
- Municipal bonds
- International bonds
- Agricultural commodities
- Foreign currencies
For many of these categories, you can also trade leveraged and inverse ETFs. Of course you have to use these tools correctly — but at least the tools exist now. Just a few years ago, they didn't.
New ETFs by the Dozen!
New products are coming out at a record pace as sponsors expand their menus into new niches. Just so far this year, I count 25 new ETFs and ETNs. Here are a few of the most interesting new alternatives ...
- Teucrium Natural Gas Fund (NAGS)
- ETFS Physical Asian Gold Shares (AGOL)
- Global X Aluminum ETF (ALUM)
- RBS U.S. Mid Cap Trendpilot ETN (TRNM)
- AdvisorShares Active Bear ETF HDGE)
- Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF (AND)
- ProShares UltraShort TIPS (TPS)
Now I'm not saying you should rush out and buy any of these. I list them here simply because they are new and different. They illustrate the kind of innovation that is underway in the ETF world.
Where is it all leading? Every time I think the possibilities are all covered, the ETF industry confounds me with something new. Their creativity seems to know no bounds. I can't wait to see where we are five years from now!
This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com.
|< Prev||Next >|
Current Headlines - Finance
Groups sue Chicago suburbs for more gun control
By Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) - A group of civil rights activists on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against three Chicago suburbs to force them to take stricter gun-control measures to stem the flow of weapons into the city's crime-ridden neighborhoods. The complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court against the towns of Riverdale, Lyons and Lincolnwood said gunshops there, along with stores in Gary, Indiana, supply a fifth of guns seized by police at crime scenes in the city. With between 400-500 murders a year, almost all with guns, Chicago lags other big U.S. cities in bringing down homicides.
Wall Street ends stronger after volatile session
U.S. crude slump cools, market awaits inventory data
By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures steadied on Tuesday after falling sharply a day earlier on worries about Greece's indebtedness and China's stock market losses, although charts indicated renewed selling could push prices into bear market territory. Traders turned their attention to the possibility of an inventory decline in U.S. crude last week. A Reuters poll found expectations that U.S. government data on Wednesday could show a 700,000-barrel decline.
China's IPO curbs risk $32 billion of U.S. take-private deals
(Repeats story first published on Tuesday with no changes to text) * Curb on IPOs among Beijing's measures to support stock market * Slew of Chinese tech firms had planned to delist for U.S. * China IPO freeze robs "take-private" deals of exit option * Chinese stock down 30 pct since mid-June, up 80 pct on year By Elzio Barreto HONG KONG, July 8 (Reuters) - China's move to curb initial public offerings (IPOs) to contain a stock market meltdown could endanger nearly $32 billion worth of deals announced this year by Chinese companies planning to drop their listings on U.S. exchanges and return home. China's securities regulator said at the weekend there would be "no new IPOs in the near-term" and the number and volume of deals down the line would be greatly reduced, part of a series of measures to prop up equity markets that have slumped around 30 percent since mid-June.
China's stock-trading students see life lessons in market slide
By Emma Yang and Viola Zhou HONG KONG, July 8 (Reuters) - A wild plunge in China's stock market over the past month has burned millions of retail investors, but 22-year-old student Zhu Qimeng prefers to view any losses as a valuable part of his education for a career in finance. Of those, 48 percent said they had invested between 5,000 and 10,000 yuan, 26 percent ploughed in between 1,000 and 5,000 yuan, 18 percent between 10,000 and 50,000 yuan, while 8 percent pumped in more than 50,000 yuan.
Officials: F-16, small plane collide over South Carolina
South Carolina Senate votes to banish Confederate flag to museum
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - South Carolina's Senate passed legislation Tuesday to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol's grounds, where it has flown for five decades despite being viewed by many as a symbol of slavery. A bill to banish the flag from the State House grounds to a museum easily passed a third and final 36-3 vote in the Senate. It was headed to the state House of Representatives, which voted to bring it to the floor for debate on Wednesday.
New charges in Charleston church shooting: Attempted murder
The man accused of killing nine people attending Bible study at a historic black church in Charleston has been indicted on three new charges of attempted murder, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Oil sinks again, U.S. crude down 2 percent amid investor flight
By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude tumbled about 2 percent on Tuesday, sinking for a second straight day as investors fled to safe havens on worries about a near-bankrupt Greece and China's stock market losses and as technical selling threatened to push oil into a bear market. Iran's determination to seal a nuclear deal with global powers to bring more of its crude to an oversupplied market and the restart of a key oil terminal in Libya also weighed on oil prices. Investors fled to the relative safety of the dollar and U.S. bonds as Greek banks ran down to their last few days of cash after its people rejected international bailout while Chinese equities extended their haemorrhage, ignoring a slew of a slew of support measures from Beijing.
FBI agents search Subway spokesman Jared Fogle’s home