"Slow and steady is the road to wealth," said Christakos. "And these ETFs are low cost and no magic. ... You don't have to worry about buying the next Apple," he added.
Christakos also likes the Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Consumer Staples ETF (RHS), which takes a different approach than most broad index funds. All of its holdings, which include Constellation Brands and Molson Coors Brewing, are equal weighted regardless of their market capitalization. (The traditional approach to passive investing weights stocks based on size.)
The $678.2 million Guggenheim ETF does charge a lot more, at a 0.40 percent annual expense ratio, though it has backed up its higher fee with performance. It is up more than 10 percent in the past year, a significantly better performance than XLP and VDC.
"Without equal weighting, big stocks can dominate," Christakos said. "And you're more vulnerable, since the largest ones can produce downside risk."