Bond exchange traded funds (ETFs) have sparked investor interest across the board. It’s largely a by-product of the world we’re living in these days, since people turn to bonds during volatile times.

Just look at the numbers: as of February 2008, there were 53 bond index ETFs. In February 2007, there were a measly 14.

As their ranks have grown, so have the assets in them. In the first quarter of this year, assets rose 16% to $40.4 billion, reports Jesse Emspak for Investor’s Business Daily. According to iShares, the area isn’t going to be slowing down anytime soon, either. Over the next three years, they say, the bond ETF industry could grow by 200%.

In addition to providing a place to go when the markets begin acting up, there are some bond ETFs that give access to areas they previously were unable to get into, such as international bond ETFs.

Don’t forget: municipal bonds are currently in the rare circumstance of yielding more than treasuries.

Some of the many types of bond ETFs available are:

  • SPDR Lehman International Treasury Bond (BWX)
  • iShares National Municipal Bond Fund (MUB)
  • PowerShares Insured National Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZA)
  • Ameristock/Ryan 1 Year U.S. Treasury (GKA)
  • iShares Lehman TIPS Bond Fund (TIP)
  • Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond (BIV)

For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of TIP.

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.