Don't Let New Highs Scare You Away From Stock ETFs | ETF Trends

As the S&P 500 breaks out into a new high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average making a run at 17,000, exchange traded fund investors shouldn’t start second guessing their equity exposure.

Some may worry about the next market turn after the equity markets hit new highs, but investors should remember that markets typically rise to new highs over time, writes John Waggoner for CNBC. If you sold at each high, you could miss out on further gains. [Stock ETFs: Buffett Still Believes in the Equities Market]

For instance, investors who sold off at the last market all-time high on March 28, 2013 would have missed a 25% rally.

Sam Stovall, managing director of U.S. equity strategy at S&P Capital IQ, points out that new highs are a hallmark of a mature bull market.

Year-to-date, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) is up 3.1%, SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 6.9% and PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGS: QQQ) increased 6.3%. On Friday, the S&P 500 and Dow indices both broke new intra-day highs. [Stock ETFs Have More Room to Run in Low Inflationary Environment]

According to S&P Capital IQ data, the average bull market spends about 7% of its life at all-time highs, and so far, the current bull market has spent 5% of its time at all-time highs. Over the long-term, bull markets, like those experienced in the 1980s and 1990s, hovered about 12% and 13% of the time at all-time highs.