Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect oil and gas equipment stocks to prosper over time because of our planet's persistent dependence on oil, the iShares Dow Jones US Oil Equipment Index 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 0.47%.
This ETF has a bit of a mixed performance record, beating the world market over the past three years, roughly matching it over the past five, and badly underperforming it over the past year. 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 13%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Some oil and gas equipment companies had strong performances over the past year. Chart Industries
Many other companies in the industry didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Weatherford International
Offshore drilling specialist McDermott International
Then there's Halliburton
The big picture
Demand for energy 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.
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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. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Halliburton. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.