Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect the world's telecom giants to thrive over time as our planet's population grows and the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other communication devices continues, the iShares S&P Global Telecommunications 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 0.48%. It recently yielded a satisfying 4.9%, to boot.
This ETF has performed rather well, topping the world market over the past three, 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 13%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Some global telecom companies had strong performances over the past year. Sprint Nextel
Other companies didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Spain-based telecom giant Telefonica
The big picture
Global demand for communication services isn't going away any time 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.
The mobile revolution is still in its infancy, so it's tough to get a handle on which companies will succeed over the long haul. For our analysts' take on it, check out our free report, "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution," which reviews a compelling company at the forefront of the trend. Hundreds of thousands have requested access to previous reports, and you can access this new report today by clicking here -- it's free.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of France Telecom, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of France Telecom. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of France Telecom. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.