After a stellar run in 2013, you may be wondering how it can get even sweeter than a nearly 30 percent annual return, which is what you would have gained holding the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) last year.
One advantage of ETFs is that, because most are pegged to indexes and not actively managed, their low costs can be passed on to you, the investor. The expense ratio for the SPY, for example, is 0.09 percent; that's 90 cents for every $1,000 invested.
However, not all ETFs track indexes track plain vanilla indexes. Here are three somewhat offbeat ETFs that follow different paths.
Tracking the titans
Want to invest like hedge-fund titan Ray Dalio? What about Carl Icahn? There's an ETF for that.
The Global X Guru fund (GURU) tracks large hedge funds' portfolios, concentrating on U.S.-listed securities.
The good: GURU has rocketed 67 percent since its inception in 2012.
The bad: Its positions aren't entirely timely, since they are rebalanced quarterly.
Hedge funds aren't required to reveal their positions until 45 days after each calendar quarter ends. As a result, GURU's securities may be outdated by as many as 135 days.
The ugly: It doesn't necessarily reflect all of a hedge fund's strategy because the funds are only required to disclose their publicly-traded stock positions. Many funds hedge using derivatives, like options and futures, which they are not required to disclose.
Tracking the untapped
Looking to tap a virtually untapped market?