Exchange-traded funds have been around for over a decade, but their growth in the past few years has attracted even the attention of outside rating services.The ETF channel now numbers over 200 funds with an aggregate $300 billion in assets. The growth in the marketplace gives advisors access to sectors in new ways that help maximize client service.

The breadth of offerings puts an ETF in every pot. Every major index is represented, as well as slices of the biggest asset classes, like iShares Russell 1000, as well as individual growth and value splits of the same index. Advisors also look to ETFs to fill in niches. Indexes such as SPDR Homebuilders or iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology give investors access to very specific markets.

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