Heather Bell

Heather Bell is managing editor for ETF.com and ETF Report.

ETF Report

 Junk Bond Arena Features Quality ETFs

In times of financial turmoil, investors often look for high-yield investments; certainly the recent wave of MLP exchange-traded products was spurred in part by growing demand for income-generating investments. High-yield corporate debt is another area that holds appeal for investors looking for yield, and though there has been no explosion of junk-bond ETPs in recent months, the asset class already represents a sizable portion of ETF assets under management—almost 10 percent of U.S. fixed-income ETF assets, according to the National Stock Exchange’s November data.

ETF Report

 Choosing Among Emerging Markets ETFs

Emerging markets are no longer considered a fringe asset class. Rather, they’re now accepted as a core part of any standard portfolio. The emerging markets ETFs space is currently dominated by two similar offerings from Vanguard and BlackRock, both of which track the same index. However, there are a number of alternatives—some of them quite new—that might hold appeal for investors with specific goals or needs.

ETF Report

 All That Glitters Is Not A Good Gold Investment

Gold investment can feel complex, with skyrocketing prices and a variety of options. What’s the best way to buy exposure? Are physically backed gold ETFs a sound strategy? What are the tax benefits of choosing a futures product? Is it safer to buy the gold bars and store them in a treasure chest? Knowing the ins and outs of each vehicle means that when the gold pullback happens—sooner or later—you’ll know exactly where to put your money.

ETF Report

 Is XLF Too Domesticated?

The Select Sector Financials SPDR (NYSE Arca: XLF) has been the standard choice for investors looking to capture the financials sector for years. Launched in December 1998, it has since accumulated roughly $6 billion in assets, with daily volume that regularly crosses the 100 million threshold. To say it’s a popular investment vehicle is an understatement.

ETF Report

 Why Are ETFs So Cheap?

Everyone pays lip service to the idea that ETFs are cheap, but few investors ever actually investigate the why of that widely accepted idea. There are several reasons behind the low costs.

ETF Report

 Is A Smart Phone ETF Silly?

First Trust’s plans outlined in a recent filing to market an ETF that would track smart-phone-related companies bring back into focus a basic question: Is an investment vehicle this specific in its focus genius or folly?

Features and News

Russell Forms Partnership With Arnott’s Firm

Russell and Rob Arnott’s Research Affiliates are teaming up to create a new family of fundamental indexes in the latest sign that investors may have an appetite for new ways to get the most out of a benchmark.

ETF Report

 Taking The Pulse Of The Product Pipeline

The first half of 2010 featured a raft of new products covering everything from money markets to corn. It also saw the introduction of new products to the pipeline—products we’ll see in the second half of the year or beyond.

ETF Report

 Considering A Euro Underdog

With the European economy still sprinkled with financial land mines, investors seem to be of split personality about the euro. Many, if not most, investors are steering clear, but as always, when an asset is beaten down enough, there are those hunting for the bottom. Investors with strong opinions on both sides of the fence can trade on their expectations with a number of exchange-traded products designed to capture the performance of the euro. The vehicles available encompass a fairly wide range of twists on pure-currency exposure, including products offering leveraged or inverse performance and one ETN offering direct exposure to the USD/euro exchange rate. However, two ETFs aim simply to capture the currency’s basic performance.