Morningstar’s Favorite New ETFs

March 9th at 6:50am by Tom Lydon

Investment research firm Morningstar has sifted through the 54 exchange traded products that have launched over the past six months. According to specific criteria, the company has come up with a list of the five most important ETF launches that have recently hit the market.

“With such a bevy of new products available to investors, we sifted through those launches to come up with five ETFs that to our way of thinking represented the best in innovation, were good uses of the ETF vehicle, offered relatively inexpensive price tags (or in some cases, were downright cheap), and were reasonably distinctive,” Robert Goldsborough wrote for Morningstar. [Bank Loan ETFs Offer 4% Yield s, Protection from Rising Rates]

The following ETFs are affordable emerging market strategies, high-dividend paying plays and some are designed to temper the market uncertainty that was presented last year. What’s more, the following funds come recommended by Mornigstar.

Vanguard Short-Term Inflation Protected Securities Index ETF (NYSEArca: VTIPhas an average duration of 2.6 years and costs a mere 0.10%, beating its competition. The short duration of this ETF makes it less sensitive to interest rate risk. Investors who want to diversify bond portfolios in the floating rate area of the market have a new choice, the Highland/iBoxx Senior Loan ET (NYSEArca: SNLN). The fund launched in 2011 and has attracted $56.6 million in inflows. The bank loan sector of the market is not liquid, so this is the biggest risk associated with the ETF, reports Goldsborough. [Vanguard Launches Short Term TIPs ETF]

In the forex corner of the ETF business is the  PIMCO Foreign Currency Strategy ETF (NYSEArca: FORX), which is the only actively managed ETF that tracks a basket of currencies. The active management of Pimco, mixed with the relative appreciation of currencies to the U.S. dollar make this fund move. Furthermore, the active management of this ETF allows it to be held longer than the average currency ETF.

iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG) is a cheap way to gain emerging market exposure at 0.18%. IEMG also includes samll-cap stocks, unlike the other broad-based ETFs trading, which are large-cap focused. Lastly, the PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPHD) plays on the latest trend of low-volatility funds. Goldsborough reports that the index replicates an index that draws constituents from the S&P 500 Index and then screens for factors relating to dividend payouts and volatility. In particular, the index draws the companies that have shown the lowest realized volatility and that also have produced high trailing 12-month dividend yields. [Investors Come Out on Top in Fee War]

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.