Peering Beyond Plain Vanilla

In an era when new ETFs are being created at breakneck pace -- including a few that are pegged to some underlying indices that may be questionable -- it can behoove investors to focus at least part of their investment into some of the more liquid funds. In a sense, it's about getting back to basics. When I was with Investor's Business Daily, I would periodically reread How to Make Money in Stocks the growth-investing primer by William O'Neil. It was a good way to refresh my memory on key investing principles.

Similarly, while I've been doing quite a bit of research into small-caps over the past year, lately I've had occasion to delve back in to large-cap land. As the focus of my work is shifting toward ETFs and bigger stocks, I ran some scans to get a bead on the most widely held exchange-traded funds, and how they are performing....414 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.