Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect the social media industry to keep growing and prospering around the world, the Global X Social Media Index ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The social media ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is 0.65%, which is a bit steeper than many ETFs', but still considerably lower than most stock mutual funds'.
This ETF doesn't have much of a performance record yet, as it's just a few months old. It's extremely small, too, so if you're thinking of buying, beware of occasionally large spreads between its bid and ask prices. You might want to just keep an eye on it as it matures a bit, or you might want to be an early investor. Remember that as with most investments, 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?
Several of the companies this ETF owns shares of have been strong performers over the past year. China-based NetEase, for example, gained about 18%, partly on profits from distributing the World of Warcraft video game in China. Indian Internet portal Rediff.com
Other companies didn't do as well last year but could have positive performance in the years to come. Renren
Mobile app maker Sky-mobi
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.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Sina and NetEase.com. 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.