Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect emerging markets to grow over the coming years, and to need new infrastructure, the PowerShares Emerging Markets Infrastructure ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The PowerShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is 0.75%, which is a bit higher than the typical ETF, but also considerably lower than the average stock mutual fund.
This ETF has performed reasonably well, beating the S&P over the past three years, but it's still very young. 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 turnover rate of 36%, 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 reasonable contributions to its performance over the past year. Caterpillar
Other companies didn't add as much to the ETF's returns last year, but could have an effect in the years to come. Brazilian steel company Gerdau
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.