Exchange-traded funds have made for some ugly headlines. They played an integral role in the May 6 flash crash, and more recently a controversy erupted over whether prices could crash on heavily shorted ETFs. Though many consider those fears unfounded, these increasingly popular investments nonetheless pose risks, and financial advisers should be cautious.

A lot of factors make ETFs attractive. They're usually much less expensive and more tax-efficient than mutual funds. And they're as easy to buy and sell as stocks, which appeals to fee-based advisers.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All On Wall Street content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access