Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect the global health-care industry to thrive as our planet's population grows and ages, the iShares S&P Global Health Care 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 0.48%.
This ETF doesn't have the most impressive track record, but its future is what matters most. It outperformed the S&P 500 by a little over the past five years, on average, and underperformed it by less than a percentage point annually over the past 10. 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 an ultra-low turnover rate of 6%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Several of this ETF's components have made strong contributions to its performance so far this year. Abbott Labs
Other companies haven't added as much to the ETF's returns so far in 2011, but could have an effect in the years to come. Amgen
The big picture
Demand for global health care 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.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amgen, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Abbott Laboratories and Dendreon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, and Abbott Labs. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.