2006 was the year of the exchange traded fund (ETF). Industry wide assets crossed the $4 billion mark and the number of new funds rose from 204 last year to 349 to date.

During the past quarter expense ratios have tip-toed higher in seven of eleven categories. Sector ETFs, the most abundant, went from 0.45% to 0.47%, according to ETF Guide. Specialty groups went the highest with expense ratios at 0.91%. Fixed income and the broad market category had the lowest expense ratios with almost no change.

These expense ratios are up because of the new ETFs focusing on international and specialty ETFs.  Domestic indexes continue to see low expenses.

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.