Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you're looking for stocks with low volatility to help you sleep better at night as your portfolio grows, the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF
The PowerShares ETF is made up of the 100 stocks in the S&P 500 with the lowest volatility over the past year. The majority of them can be classified as value stocks, as growth stocks tend to be more volatile.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The PowerShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a very low 0.25%.
This ETF doesn't have much of a performance to assess yet, as it's less than a year old. 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?
Let's take a look at some strong-performing examples of these low-volatility stocks. Tobacco giant Altria
Other companies haven't done as well lately but should be strong long-term performers. Procter & Gamble
These are the kinds of companies that are likely to perform well in all kinds of economic environments.
The big picture
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.