Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect retailers to thrive as our economy eventually gets back on track, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. This retail ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a low 0.35%.
This ETF has performed rather well, beating the S&P 500 handily over the past three and five years, on average. But it's also very young, with just a few years on the books. As with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
What's in it?
Several of this ETF's components made strong contributions to its performance since 2011 began. 99 Cents Only Stores
Other companies haven't added as much to the ETF's returns this year, but could have an effect in the years to come. Sears Holdings
Clothing retailer Aeropostale
The big picture
Retail demand isn't going away anytime soon. A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies -- and make investing in and profiting from it that much easier.