Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect companies involved in natural resources to thrive over time as our recovering and growing global economy demands more energy and commodities, the iShares S&P North American Natural Resources
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 has performed rather well, beating the S&P 500 over the past five and 10 years. 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 11%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
A few natural resources companies have performed well over the past year, despite the fact that the global economic recovery is not yet in full swing. Natural gas specialist Williams
A lot of companies didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Oil-field services giant Halliburton
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
The big picture
Demand for natural resources 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.
Halliburton isn't the only company profiting from oil. Check out our special free report, "3 Stocks for $100 Oil," and meet some compelling contenders for your portfolio.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Halliburton. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.