Did you know that while you are holiday shopping, you could earn some money back by investing in one of the retail exchange traded funds (ETFs)? Zoe Van Schyndel for The Motley Fool says the number of consumer funds can be confusing, and the types of companies they invest in differ greatly. Whether it’s consumer discretionary or consumer staples, goods and services, local or foreign, the choices go on and on.

These sector ETFs are more volatile than the broader market funds, and tend to have higher expense ratios, so consider these expenses before buying. Consumers might be a bit squeezed this holiday by a real estate downturn, high oil prices and a weaker dollar. Make sure to look at the holdings and research where your money is going. With an economic downturn the consumer staples might be more attractive.  And don’t forget to have fun while shopping.

  • iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Services Sector (IYC)
  • iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods Sector (IYK)
  • Vanguard Consumer Discretionary (VCR)
  • Vanguard Consumer Staples (VDC)
  • Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY)
  • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP)

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.