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Health Care ETFs: Elixir for Your Portfolio

With a 4.3% increase during February, the cost of medical care in the U.S. continues to increase at nearly double the 2.4% pace of overall prices. So, it's no surprise that exchange-traded funds are being launched to invest in the companies benefiting from this pricing power.

On March 12, XShares Advisors introduced one composite and eight new sub-industry-specific health care funds. These were added to the five HealthShares ETFs that have been in the XShares product portfolio since Jan. 23.

With the addition of these 14 health and biotech related ETFs, there are now 37 funds covering this sector. No other specific sector has as many ETFs.

Let's say you are reading a scientific journal about breakthroughs with promising new cancer drugs, and you decide to invest in a biotech company that specializes in cancer drugs. Instead of betting the house on a single company, you can now buy the HealthShares Cancer ETF (HHK). This fund is comprised of 64.9% pharmaceutical stocks and 35.1% biotechnology stocks. By making one investment in 22 companies actively seeking novel cancer treatments, the odds of holding the one stock that hits it big are increased.

Of course, the opposite can also true. Biotechnology and pharmaceutical stocks tend to be highly volatile, as potential new drugs succeed or fail at each stage of their clinical trials. So, if a proposed drug disappoints in trials or an existing drug is pulled from the market due to unacceptable side effects, expect to participate in the loss.

If your other investments are causing anxiety, depression and loss of sleep, or you are just plain absent-minded, the HealthShares Neuroscience ETF (HHN) holds the companies that want to bring help.

New XShares Advisors Funds
Fund Ticker Inception
HealthShares Autoimmune-Inflammation ETF HHA 3/12/2007
HealthShares Cancer ETF HHK 3/12/2007
HealthShares Cardiology ETF HRD 3/12/2007
HealthShares Composite ETF HHQ 3/12/2007
HealthShares GI/Gender Health ETF HHU 3/12/2007
HealthShares Metabolic-Endocrine Disorders ETF HHM 3/12/2007
HealthShares Neuroscience ETF HHN 3/12/2007
HealthShares Ophthamology ETF HHZ 3/12/2007
HealthShares Respitory/Pulmonary ETF HHR 3/12/2007
HealthShares Cardiology Devices ETF HHE 1/23/2007
HealthShares Diagnostic ETF HHD 1/23/2007
HealthShares Emerging Cancer ETF HHJ 1/23/2007
HealthShares Enabling Technology ETF HHV 1/23/2007
HealthShares Patient Care Services ETF HHB 1/23/2007
Source: TheStreet.com

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