By Mike Kapsch
The ETF industry now accounts for over $1 trillion. And one ETF issuer in particular dominates this market... iShares. But which iShares ETF is the best?
In the mid-90s, there were few choices when it came to investing in exchange traded funds. Today, you can find an ETF to suit pretty much anything you want. From tracking the S&P 500, to the global fishing industry, to small caps in Malaysia, these investments have become a powerful tool to help diversify one's portfolio and reduce risk.
In fact, in just the last 10 years, the number of ETFs has increased over 10-fold to about 1,500. The industry now accounts for over $1 trillion. And one ETF issuer in particular dominates this market… iShares.
With 46% of the ETF market share, iShares is the world's largest ETF provider.
Managed by BlackRock Group (NYSE: BLK), iShares ETFs are listed in exchanges all over the world including New York, London, Hong Kong and Toronto.
The Financial Times reports, "The iShares ETF franchise… accounted for at least 27 percent of revenue at its owner BlackRock. Analysts say iShares makes up an even larger share of BlackRock's earnings."
These percentages are expected to go even higher in 2012.
Why do the majority of investors choose iShares? A big reason is coverage. The iShares family of ETFs is built virtually around every leading index provider including Barclays Capital, Cohen & Steers, Dow Jones, FTSE, FTSE/Xinhua, iBoxx, JPMorgan, Morningstar, MSCI, Nasdaq, NYSE, Russell and Standard & Poor's.
It has over 440 funds to choose from and more than $480 billion of assets under management. This gives iShares the opportunity to have an ETF for almost any kind of investor. Maybe there's even one for you.
The Top-10 Performing iShares ETFs
Let's take a look at the top-10 performing iShares ETFs in terms of their average annualized gains since they were first introduced to the markets:
Average Annualized Gains
MSCI All Peru Capped Index Fund
S&P Latin America 40 Index Fund
MSCI South Africa Index Fund
MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund
MSCI Indonesia Investable Market Index Fund
iShares 10+ Year Government/Credit Bond Fund
MSCI New Zealand Investable Market Index Fund
MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund
MSCI Brazil Index Fund
MSCI Pacific ex-Japan Index Fund
Currently the average ETF expense ratio is 0.44%. iShares' top 10 ETFs are obviously higher. But competition is quickly heating up among leading ETF issuers and annual fees are on the way down.
Bottom line: There's a lot of opportunity to profit in ETFs today. Do your homework and cash in.
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