Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you'd like to invest in most or all of the 30 behemoths that make up "the Dow," as they represent a wide swath of the American market, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The SPDR ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a very low 0.17%. It sports a dividend yield near 2.4%, too.
This ETF has not significantly outperformed the overall market over the long run because it reflects the overall market, to some degree. It's underperforming the S&P 500 so far this year, and it topped the S&P 500 last year, but over a decade they're quite close. 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 turnover rate close to 0%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
More than a handful of Dow components had strong performances over the past year. General Electric
Even beleaguered megabank Bank of America
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, owns shares of Intel, 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 Bank of America, Cisco Systems, VMware, and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of VMware and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.