One of the biggest changes to investing in recent times is the vast amount of choices available to investors of any size. The advent of ETFs has opened up markets and assets which almost no one could previously access – especially if you didn’t have a lot of money to invest.
It used to be you could invest in individual stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Now, through ETFs, you can invest in everything from palladium to Thailand to foreign junk bonds. There are multiple ETFs available for a variety of strategies and investing philosophies as well (value, growth, income, etc.). Plus, these funds are available to just about anyone with a brokerage account.
The popularity of ETFs has also shined a light on asset class investing as a primary means of long-term/retirement strategies. Instead of just buying stock and bonds, many portfolios now are diversified into 10 to 15 (or more) asset classes, such as foreign government bonds, REITs, and commodities.
One of the most popular asset classes to invest in over the last decade has been emerging markets. This class includes countries like China, India, and Brazil. They tend to be countries which can experience high growth but also high risk (with China being the perfect example).