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ETFs

ETF Portfolios for Every Purpose

You can pursue any goal with nothing more than exchange-traded funds.

LONG-TERM GROWTH: For those who believe in stocks

Designed for an investor with a healthy tolerance for risk, this package is 90% in stocks and 10% in a fund that tracks commodity prices. The two Vanguard FTSE funds cover foreign companies, large and small. The WisdomTree fund invests only in small firms that are currently profitable, and Vanguard REIT buys real estate investment trusts.

40% iShares Russell 3000 (symbol IWV)
20% Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU)
10% PowerShares DB Commodity (DBC)
10% Vanguard FTSE All-Wld ex-US Sm Cp* (VSS)
10% Vanguard REIT (VNQ)
10% WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings (EES)
*Less than one year old.

VANGUARD ONLY: For fans of the low-cost specialist

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Vanguard, which is known for its traditional index funds, has been making a big push into ETFs, bringing its low-cost philosophy to a market that already has low costs. The average annual expense ratio of this portfolio is just 0.13%. This mix, which is 65% in stocks and 35% in bonds, is appropriate for an investor who can tolerate moderate risk.

35% Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND)
20% Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU)
20% Vanguard Large Cap (VV)
15% Vanguard Small Cap (VB)
5% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock (VWO)
5% Vanguard REIT (VNQ)

GROWTH AND INCOME: For those who want good yield

This package produces a surprisingly high current yield of 5.8%. The fixed-income part includes a fund that buys high-quality corporate bonds (LQD), one that focuses on foreign government bonds (IGOV) and one that owns junk bonds (HYG). DVY was out of favor last year because it had a large position in banks, but it is much better diversified now.

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20% iShares iBoxx $ Inv Grade Corp (LQD)
20% iShares DJ Select Dividend (DVY)
10% iShares S&P/Citi Intl Treas Bond (IGOV)
10% iShares iBoxx $ High Yld Corp (HYG)
10% SPDR S&P Intl Dividend (DWX)
10% Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU)
10% Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG)
10% Vanguard REIT (VNQ)

ALL ABROAD: For a 100% foreign package

Major foreign markets closely tracked the U.S. during the bear market and subsequent rebound. But investing overseas still makes sense because you gain access to faster-growing countries, and you diversify your portfolio among different currencies. The PowerShares fund invests in companies involved in infrastructure construction in emerging markets.

35% iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)
15% SPDR S&P Intl Dividend (DWX)
15% WisdomTree Intl SmallCap Div (DLS)
10% iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (FXI)
5% iShares MSCI Australia (EWA)
5% iShares MSCI Brazil Index (EWZ)
5% PowerShares Emerg Mkts Infrastr* (PXR)
5% WisdTree Dreyfus Emerg Currency* (CEW)
5% WisdomTree India Earnings (EPI)
*Less than one year old.

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MAXIMUM INCOME: For those seeking fat yields

Because of their low fees, ETFs are a fine way to invest in bonds. Plus, with the number of bond ETFs expanding rapidly, you now can build fixed-income portfolios to suit just about any taste. This package has 65% in bonds -- spread among conservative investments, such as laddered Treasuries, and some riskier things, such as junk bonds -- and 35% in stocks. It recently yielded 6.4%.

25% iShares iBoxx $ Inv Grade Corp (LQD)
15% iShares iBoxx $ High Yld Corp (HYG)
15% PowerShares Em Mkts Sov Debt (PCY)
15% Vanguard REIT (VNQ)
10% iShares DJ Select Dividend (DVY)
10% PowerShares 1-30 Laddered Treas (PLW)
10% Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU)

ODDS AND ENDS: For those who want alternatives

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Traditional stuff bore you? Through DBE, GLD and DBA, a little more than one-third of the portfolio is in commodities -- energy, gold and agricultural, respectively. The Timber, Agribusiness and Water Resources funds invest in stocks tied to those sectors. TIP, which owns Treasury inflation-protected bonds, is the conservative anchor. This package shouldn't track stocks too closely.

20% iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (TIP)
15% PowerShares DB Energy (DBE)
15% SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
15% WisdTree Dreyfus Emerg Currency (CEW)
10% Claymore Glbl Timber Index (CUT)
10% Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO)
10% PowerShares Water Resources (PHO)
5% PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA)