Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect the media industry to thrive over time, especially with a big presidential election season heating up, which will involve a lot of advertising, the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The media ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is 0.63%, which is a bit higher than many ETFs, but also considerably lower than most stock mutual funds.
This ETF has been a mixed performer, beating the S&P 500 over the past three years but lagging it over the past five. 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 over the past year. Sinclair Broadcast Group
Other companies didn't add as much to the ETF's returns last year, but could have an effect in the years to come. Advertising giant Interpublic Group
Professional networking site LinkedIn
The big picture
Demand for media isn't going away anytime soon, though media formats do change over time, with newspapers having a rough time lately. 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.