Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect the retail sector to thrive over time as our global population grows, economies develop, and more people want to buy things, the Market Vectors Retail ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The retail ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.35%. The fund is fairly 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 have much of a performance history, as it's very new -- the result of an overhauled and discontinued Retail HOLDR. It's the future that counts most, though, and whether you're bullish on its components. 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?
Some retail companies had strong performances over the past year. Sysco
Other companies didn't do quite as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Walgreen
The big picture
Demand for retail 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, owns shares of Netflix, 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 Express Scripts, Best Buy, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Express Scripts, SYSCO, and Netflix, as well as creating a bear put ladder position in Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.