Fees on managed portfolios may differ, depending on the brokerage firm. For instance, your financial advisor could be paying commissions and custodial fees if the strategist is not part of the brokerage’s preferred list. On the other hand, there are some managed ETF account programs for self-directed investors. For instance, Charles Schwab, through its Windhaven unit, offers portfolios with a minimum investment requirement.

Investors can also monitor ETF strategists’ performances through brokerage firms, ETF strategists and researchers like Morningstar.

Alternatively, investors could consider target-date or asset-allocation funds to gain a comprehensive, all-in-one investment offering.  For example, BlackRock’s iShares and Deutsche Banks’ db X-trackers provide target-date funds for investors with a target retirement horizon. Income investors could look at options like the First Trust NASDAQ Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index Fund (NasdaqGM: MDIV) and the Guggenheim Multi-Asset Income Index ETF (NYSEArca: CVY), one of the elder statesmen of the multi-asset ETF group. [Multi-Asset Menagerie With These ETFs]

For more information on ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.