Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect health-care companies to thrive as our population ages, the iShares DJ US Health Care Providers ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The iShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.47%.
This ETF has performed rather well, beating the S&P 500 over the past three and five years, on average. 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.
With a low turnover rate of 13%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Several of this ETF's components made strong contributions to its performance over the past year. Quest Diagnostics
Other companies didn't add as much to the ETF's returns last year, but could have an effect in the years to come. HCA Holdings
The big picture
Demand for health-care services 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.