Many investment innovations have been meet with skepticism, but exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track smart-beta or alternative index-based strategies have quickly caught investors’ attention. For example, the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEArca: VIG), iShares Select Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: DVY) andVanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) are some popular dividend-oriented ETF strategies. Moreover, investors have been looking at low-vol strategies, like the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: USMV)and PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPLV), this year. Read more >>

8) 13 Tasty Consumer Staples ETFs to Feast On

The consumer staples sector has a reputation for being boring and stodgy, but boring has been beautiful this year as the fifth-largest sector weight in the S&P 500 has been one of 2016’s best-performing groups. Here are 13 ETFs to consider: Consumer Staples Select SPDR (NYSEArca: XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC), Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (NYSEArca: FSTA), iShares Dow Jones U. S. Consumer Goods Sector Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYK), PowerShares S&P SmallCap Consumer Staples Portfolio (NasdaqGM: PSCC), First Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXG), Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: RHS), PowerShares DWA Consumer Staples Momentum Portfolio (NYSEArca: PSL), PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBJ), John Hancock Multifactor Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: JHMS), iShares Global Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: KXI), SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples Sector ETF (NYSEArca: IPS), and EGShares Emerging Markets Consumer ETF (NYSEArca: ECON). Read more >>

9) 4 Gold ETFs to Diversify a Multi-Functional Portfolio

Gold can be used in multiple ways to diversify a traditional stock and bond portfolio, and investors can gain exposure to the asset through physically backed exchange traded funds. For starters, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the world’s largest ETF backed by physical holdings of gold, has been a go-to option for large traders, hedge funds and institutional investors seeking to capitalize on its large pool of liquidity and tight bid-ask spreads. Similarly, the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) is another large option with a lot of active trading. Alternatively, since IAU and GLD shares are backed by gold stored in London vaults, investors can take a look at the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) to diversify gold exposure. Additionally, unlike other gold ETFs, the Van Eck Merk Gold Trust (NYSEArca: OUNZ), a relatively new player in the gold space, allows investors to take physical delivery of gold bullion for shares of OUNZ, but potential gold share converters should be aware that fees for physical delivery are significant. Read more >>

10) 44 Best REITs ETFs to Generate Yields

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and sector-related exchange traded funds are a good source of attractive payouts in a low-yield environment. Top REITs ETPs include: Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ), iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYR), iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (NYSEArca: ICF), SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (NYSEArca: RWR), Schwab US REIT ETF (NYSEArca: SCHH), iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (NYSEArca: REM), iShares Residential Real Estate Capped ETF (NYSEArca: REZ), First Trust S&P REIT Index Fund (NYSEArca: FRI), PowerShares KBW Premium Yield Equity REIT Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWY) and Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (NYSEArca: MORT). Read more >>

11) Dividend ETFs That Bark Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T

With interest rates still low, investors need to think about new strategies for generating retirement income beyond portfolios heavily tilted toward fixed income. The ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (NYSEArca: SDOG) is one ETF that is a departure from the norm among dividend ETFs and that is a good thing. SDOG has an international counterpart, the ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (NYSEArca: IDOG). Read more >>

12) The Rise of Themed ETFs: Video Games, Drones, Millennials

Exchange traded funds are a collection of stocks or bonds, much like a mutual fund. Their popularity continues to grow as investors look to invest in a wide array of markets, whether broad like the S&P 500, in niche sectors, or targeted to a specific goal. Four unique ETFs that are themed include: PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF (NYSEArca: GAMR), PureFunds Drone Economy Strategy ETF (IFLY), Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (Nasdaq: MILN) and SPDR Gender Diversity Index ETF (NYSEArca: SHE). Read more >>

13) Smart Beta ETF Strategies for More Volatile Conditions Ahead

Volatility is a reoccurring hurdle that has weighed on investment portfolios. However, investors can utilize disciplined smart-beta index based exchange traded funds as a way to better control the risks.

For example, J.P. Morgan offers a suite of Diversified Return Equity ETFs, such as theJPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (NYSEArca: JPEM)JPMorgan Diversified Return Global Equity ETF (NYSEArca: JPGE), JPMorgan Diversified Return International Equity ETF (NYSEArca: JPIN) and JPMorgan Diversified Return US Equity ETF (NYSEArca: JPUS). Read more >>

14) A+ Real Estate ETFs to Capitalize on a Dovish Fed

Real estate investment trusts and related exchange traded funds are capitalizing on the low interest-rate environment, and the market could find further support ahead as REITs become the newest S&P 500 sector. For diversified REITs exposure, investors have looked at broad options like Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ) and iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYR). Read more >>

15) Quality Matters When Considering Yield-Generating MLP ETFs

While the ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEArca: AMLP) has recently announced a lower distribution, the revised dividend payout is not a cause for concern. The underlying cause for the changes may actually benefit investors in the long-run. Read more >>