Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If volatility in a stock freaks you out a bit, and you'd like to add less-volatile holdings to your portfolio, the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The iShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a very low 0.15%. The fund is a bit on the small side, too, so if you're thinking of buying, beware of occasionally large spreads between its bid and ask prices. Consider using a limit order if you want to buy in.
This ETF is too new to have much of a track record, without even a year 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?
More than a handful of companies deemed to feature low volatility had strong performances over the past year. Mortgage REITs (real estate investment trusts) Annaly Capital
Then there's Duke Energy
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.
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