The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) came onto the American financial markets in 1993 when State Street Global launched the SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY). With an average volume of around 145 million shares traded, this original ETF is still the most popular ETF traded today - but that doesn't mean it gives the best returns.

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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 sectors, commodities, small-caps 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.

SEE: Introduction To Exchange-Traded Funds

Sound appealing? Check out some of this year's ETFs that are in the green.


YTD % Gain

iShares Dow Jones US Financial Services (ARCA:IYG)


iShares Silver Trust(ARCA:SLV)Precious Metals

iShares Dow Jones US Technology (ARCA:IYW)Technology

iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (ARCA:IYH)Health Care

Bottom Line
If you're looking to add a new twist to your portfolio, dive into some additional research on these products.

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Tickers in this Article: SPY, IYG, SLV, IYW, IYH

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