exchange-traded funds

Investing 101: What Is an ETF?

Looking for an asset that's flexible like a stock but offers the diversity of an index fund? Your best option might just be an exchange-traded fund, or ETF.

How You Can Take Advantage of the Fed's Low Interest Rate Plans

To keep interest rates at rock-bottom lows and boost the economy, the Federal Reserve is buying $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities, and it'll keep buying them for as long as it takes to get the economy back on track. Here's how that plan should affect your personal economy.

ETFs in 2010: The Winners, the Losers and the Warnings

The investment world's love affair with all things ETF did not wane in 2010, as their share of the market rose to $940 billion. But popular doesn't mean easy, and it doesn't always mean profitable. Along with the best and the worst performers, a few reminders about how to use these popular investment vehicles safely.

Why Individual Stock-Picking Is Harder Than Ever

Whether investors can outwit the broader market over the long run is a perennial, hotly debated, topic. But computerized trading and virtual baskets of stocks are making the discerning of specific companies' fortunes matter less and less.

How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Investing Mistakes

The securities industry is always coming up with the "latest and greatest" way to make a quick buck. But almost all of such vehicles are structured to benefit brokers and money managers. Investors wind up getting relegated to their usual status as victims with no redress.

Even ETFs Beat Hedge Funds in 2009

Retail investors who think they're missing out on the big money because they don't have a million bucks to get into a hedge fund should consider themselves lucky. Hedge funds had their best year in a decade in 2009 -- and yet they couldn't even beat the broader market.