During the first quarter, the exchange traded funds (ETFs) industry had a growth spurt. During the first months of 2007, 95 ETFs launched, bringing the total to 454. Industry assets topped $450 billion comparing to the same time last year at just under $300 billion.

Rob Wherry for SmartMoney.com reviews the main themes for the quarter, including the launch of XTF’s rating service for the popular ETF offerings.  New ETFs sprouted up in many sectors, but the highlights include more fixed income ETFs for investors.  Barclays issued new bond ETFs and the competition heated up this month when Vanguard launched their bond ETFs.  ProShares rolled out a number of ETFs where a combination of futures and options offer leveraged choices to investors.  And don’t forget about XShares’ HealthShares, where the health care sector is broken down to very specific categories, such as cancer and cardiology.

These ETFs may not be for everyone, but they certainly give investors more options to diversify their portfolios.  As always, be sure to know what you are buying, make sure it fits with your investment goals and set up an exit strategy.

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.

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