It’s no shock to hear that exchange traded funds (ETFs) are growing in number, but the number of providers is exploding, too.

According to Morgan Stanley, 14 companies launched their first ETFs in 2007, bringing the worldwide total to 75 providers. That includes Deutsche Bank, XShares and Spa. This year, the newest entrant to the market is Northern Trust.

Twenty more are going to jump on the bandwagon globally, reports Steve Johnson for the Financial Times. They include Merrill Lynch, Alpha Bank of Greece and Tata, the Indian Conglomerate.

One member of the industry fears that not all of these companies will be successful, since many of them are smaller companies backed by venture capital.

In an era with more providers than ever and more competition, this is probably true. Investors are going to look at products with a more discerning eye as more options become available to them. Naturally, not everything is going to be a success.

But companies that give investors access to areas in which they haven’t been able to get into might be among the more successful ones. Being first to market can be key, as well: the first ETF to launch often gobbles up most of the assets.

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.