Fund Picks for 2004
It's easy to criticize the investment industry for all its shortcomings -- scandals, high fees, lousy performance. But on the plus side: The industry gives you a thousand different ways to make bets on the market.
Specialized mutual funds and exchange-traded funds slice up the market into little pieces, allowing investors to make specific bets on areas they think will do well. When properly employed, these offerings can serve as solid diversifiers in a well-balanced portfolio -- and give investors the opportunity to try to outperform the broader market.
With that in mind, let's take a quick look at a few arenas that are poised to do well in 2004, and highlight some solid mutual fund and ETF offerings that enable you to ride the trends. But keep in mind: Sector and regional bets can be highly volatile and are best made in small doses, say 5% to 10%.
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