By seadmin

These days it’s very hard to keep up with all of the news that’s fit to print on the exchange-traded fund (ETF) front. The average investor could get bogged down in the process of trying to keep on top of the plethora of new developments in ETF land. Fortunately, my crack staff of researchers and writers always are on the job, bringing to my attention all of the excitement that has become the world of ETFs.

The following are a few news tidbits I thought you might enjoy learning about. And, even though I am not currently recommending any of these ETFs, they are funds that every smart investor should know about. The more knowledge you have about these unique investment tools, the more comfortable you’ll be when it comes time to actually put these tools to use in your portfolio.

  • Assets invested in exchange-traded funds were up 9.4% from September to October and now stand at just over $350 billion. According to the Dow Jones Newswires, total assets invested in ETFs are up 29% from the end of last year. As of October, there were a total of 315 ETFs.

  • A new ETF that began trading in October is designed to give investors access to start-ups, business loans and corporate buyouts. It’s the PowerShares Listed Private Equity Portfolio (PSP). This fund does not directly participate in non-listed private equity; rather, it invests in publicly traded companies that invest in private equity. In essence, you are getting access to the very lucrative and once very exclusive private equity markets when you buy PSP.

  • Exchange-traded funds were the subject of a recent Bank of America Corporation offering. The bank is allowing 30-free stock trades a month to customers with at least $25,000 deposited in their account and these free trades include ETFs. Because ETFs have a lower expense ratio than mutual funds, the elimination of trading fees make ETFs exceptionally attractive to Bank of America clients who traditionally are steered toward investing in traditional mutual funds.

  • Van Eck Global recently introduced two new sector-specific ETFs. The first is the Market Vectors Environmental Services (EVX), and the second is the Market Vectors Steel (SLX). These new ETFs are the first to target their respective industries.

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