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Exchange-Traded Funds

These funds are bought and sold through brokerage firms just like stocks. The 192 ETFs below include the largest stock and commodity funds, as well as smaller ETFs mentioned in ETF Portfolios for Every Purpose. You can find explanations for the styles within each group at How to Navigate the Fund Tables.


Fund Rankings by Type and Style

How to Navigate the Fund Tables

The Best Mutual Funds

Most ETFs are designed to track an index. Recent years, however, have seen an explosion in ETFs that seek to mimic enhanced indexes, which aim to perform better than traditional targets, such as Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. Plus, there are now ETFs that track commodities, such as oil and grains; leveraged ETFs; and ETFs that are designed to return the inverse of an index.

Broad-based ETFs are the right choice if you trade infrequently, invest a big chunk of cash at once and hold for a long time. Although ETFs typically charge lower annual fees than actively managed mutual funds, you have to pay a brokerage commission when you buy or sell them, so you want to minimize trading costs.

Kiplinger's separates ETFs from traditional mutual funds because we consider ETFs to be fundamentally different. For example, ETFs trade throughout the day, and regular funds are priced just once a day. The process of buying and selling ETFs requires investors to specify whether a trade is a "market" order or a "limit" order. In addition, small discrepancies can develop between the value of an ETF's assets and its share price. The returns published below are based on performance of the share price, not the assets.

Download the Kiplinger diversified U.S. stock ETF rankings.

Download the Kiplinger international and global ETF rankings.

Download the Kiplinger sector ETF rankings.

Download the Kiplinger inverse market ETF rankings.