The popularity of ETF trading has exploded in recent years, and investors seem to love the ability to gain diversification within a single purchase. Traders can easily play the entire S&P 500 in one swoop by buying the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) or gain exposure to the whole Energy Sector by buying the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLE).
However, as the number of ETFs has exploded, some of them have become strangely specific. Here’s a list of 10 oddball ETFs.
1. Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSE: BJK)
Want to place a bet on the gambling business? This ETF is devoted to companies that generate at least half of their revenue from gambling.
2. Global X Lithium ETF (NYSE: LIT)
While direct investments in electric car companies such as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) can be extremely volatile and risky, another way to play the electric car trend is by buying into Lithium ETF LIT.
3. iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSE: GRN)
Slightly higher on the ETF periodic table than LIT is the Carbon ETF GRN. As strange as it seems, this fund is intended to mirror the performance of the most liquid global carbon-related credit plans.
4. iPath Bloomberg Livestock SubTR ETN (NYSE: COW)
If you are bullish on the long-term outlook for carnivores, this pork and beef-based ETF is perfect for you.
5. PowerShares Water Resources ETF (NYSE: PHO)
Although this water ETF is very specific, the recent California drought has demonstrated just how critical the global water business could be in the long-term.
6. LocalShares Nashville Area ETF (NYSE: NASH)
Do you love Nashville, Tennessee so much that you wish you could simply purchase it? The NASH invests 90 percent of its assets in U.S. companies headquartered in Nashville, TN.
7. iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN (NYSE: VXX)
Although the VXX is an extremely popular volatility fund, CNBC’s Hank Greenberg once explained just how convoluted the VXX actually is: “It’s a credit instrument based on the price of futures tied to an index that measures future volatility based on ANOTHER derivative.”
8. Forensic Accounting ETF (NASDAQ: FLAG)
The firm that created this fund performs forensic accounting analysis of large-cap U.S. companies and then weights the fund’s holdings based on the accounting letter grade (A-F) that each company receives.
9. Robo-Stox Glbl Robotics&Automation ETF (NASDAQ: ROBO)
Robots may eventually take over the world and exterminate all of mankind, but at least you can die wealthy by investing in this robotics and automation ETF.
10. Tuttle Tactical Management US Core ETF (NASDAQ: TUTT)
Having trouble deciding which ETF to buy? Buy one of a number of Inception-like “ETFs of ETFs” such as the Tuttle Core ETF, which invests no less than 80 percent of its funds in a basket of other ETFs.
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