Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect nuclear power to remain with us and to grow over time as oil remains vexing for a number of reasons, the PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The PowerShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.75%. 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 has trailed the market's returns over the past three years, but it's still very young. 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 25%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Several companies involved in nuclear power had strong performances over the past year. FirstEnergy
Other companies didn't do as well last year, but they could see their fortunes change in the coming years. The largest nuclear power operator in the U.S., Exelon
The big picture
Demand for nuclear power isn't going away anytime soon, as plans for new reactors have been approved. 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 Emerson Electric, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Emerson Electric and Exelon, as well as writing a covered straddle position in Exelon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.