Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect emerging-markets companies to prosper over time as their typically fast-growing economies develop, yet you'd like the comfort of more established large-cap companies, the SPDR MSCI EM 50 ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The SPDR ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.50%. The fund is very small, too, so if you're thinking of buying, beware of occasionally large spreads between its bid and ask prices. Consider using a limit order if you want to buy in.
This ETF doesn't really have a performance record to assess yet, as it's so new. 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.
What's in it?
Several large, emerging-market companies had strong performances over the past year. Brazil's beverage giant AmBev
Other companies didn't do as well last year. China-based solar-energy concern ReneSola
Far less worrisome is India-based outsourcing specialist Infosys
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.
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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 has a disclosure policy.