Nearly every day, I get a notice touting the launch of some new ETF. And at this point, most of them represent some fringe aspect of the investment world. Small-cap stocks from one certain country in the Middle East, say, or a fund from Africa that deals with water infrastructure. Sometimes, they are sliced so thinly that there are just a handful of companies in the underlying index. Useful perhaps, but probably only for a limited audience.
But for the major ETF issuers, it does make some sense. The easy ETFs—the ones based on the S&P 500, for example—have been done. The low-hanging fruit is gone. But now, we may be on the cusp of a whole new area: fixed-income ETFs. This was the subject of an interesting report recently from research firm Aite Group.
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