The Only Three ETFs You Need

More than 500 ETFs are now on the market, and you can ignore most of them. To keep your investing simple and successful, stick to these three ETFs.

Exchange-traded funds -- mutual funds that you buy and sell like stocks -- started as a way to make investing simpler and cheaper. They still can be. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy analyzing securities in your spare time, ETFs offer a terrific way to put your investments on autopilot. This article will tell you how to use them to make investing a snap.

But first the bad news. Sorting through ETFs has become almost as daunting as choosing among mutual funds or individual stocks and bonds. Sixteen different companies now offer more than 500 ETFs combined. In April alone, 21 new ETFs were launched, according to State Street Global Advisors.

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Steven Goldberg
Contributing Columnist,
Steve has been writing for Kiplinger's for more than 25 years. As an associate editor and then senior associate editor, he covered mutual funds for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine from 1994-2006. He also authored a book, But Which Mutual Funds? In 2006 he joined with Jerry Tweddell, one of his best sources on investing, to form Tweddell Goldberg Investment Management to manage money for individual investors. Steve continues to write a regular column for and enjoys hearing investing questions from readers. You can contact Steve at 301.650.6567 or