Exchange-traded funds have been rapidly expanding into every nook and cranny of money management, from emerging markets to commodities. With more than 1,100 ETF products in the United States alone, (1,250 if you include their cousin, exchange-traded notes), one would think the ETF market is already saturated.
But the industry disagrees. How about technology companies in the emerging markets? No problem, there are ETFs for that. Or cloud computing? ETFs, yes. Bonds, commodities, currencies? Check, check and check. At this point each of the major market segments—large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap, every sector, every style and even most countries—are covered by at least one, and in many cases several, products. Even most emerging markets are well represented. "The broadest level is saturated," says Dan Brown, an ETF and closed-end fund analyst at Wells Fargo Advisors.
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