The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) came onto the American financial markets in 1993 when State Street Global launched the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY). With an average volume of over 200 million shares traded, this original ETF is still the most popular ETF traded today - but that doesn't mean it gives the best returns. (For related reading, see Introduction To Exchange-Traded Funds.)

IN PICTURES: How To Make Your First $1 Million

One of the biggest advantages of ETFs is that an investor can create a diversified portfolio with a handful of different ETFs to cover the entire stock and fixed income market. Likewise, for investors who already have a sizable portfolio of individual stocks, more specialized ETFs can be a great way to augment holdings and provide entry into a wide variety of sector, commodity, small-cap and emerging markets.
Buying an ETF to represent an entire sector of the stock market can also be a great idea to ride out a bullish trend on a specific sector.

Sound appealing? Check out some of this year's hottest ETFs.


Company Net Asset Value YTD % Gain
ProShares Ultra Silver (NYSE:AGQ) 201.10 +139.95%
Direxion Daily Real Estate Bull 3x Shares (NYSE:DRN) 146.75 +40.24%
iShares MSCI Thailand Invest Mkt Index (NYSE:THD) 645.74 +48.18%
ProShares Ultra Gold (NYSE:UGL) 203.70 +52.01%
iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE:SLV) 6,940M +43.59%
Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) 264.76M
+66.7%

Bottom Line
With gold and silver hitting record highs these days, it's no surprise that four of the top ETFs represent these precious metals. If you're looking to add a new twist to your portfolio, dive into some additional research on these leading funds.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Related Analysis
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in Agriculture

  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in the Russell 200 Index

  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in Hong Kong

  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in Canada

  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top ETFs For Investing in Greece

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!