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Two Regional Bank ETF Plays

KRE has a gross expense ratio of 0.35 and a three-month average daily trading volume of 4.1 million shares. KRE's high liquidity is helpful for investors looking to quickly move in and out of this fund.

IAT has a gross expense ratio of 0.48% and a three-month average daily trading volume of 125,000 shares.

While KRE is an effective tool to gain cheap exposure to regional banks while mitigating risk, some investors benefit from a more actively managed strategy.

David Ellison, manager of FBRSX, understands crisis. The Fidelity veteran was at the helm of Fidelity Select Home Finance (FSVLX) in the early 1990s, and Ellison's experience in separating winners and losers has helped again during the latest credit crisis.

FBRSX has led many of its peers during the financial recovery, with Ellison's fund earning five stars from Morningstar. Ellison's eye for management and well-timed opportunities have helped to keep this fund in the plus column in 2010. Year to date FBRSX is up 4.39%. The fund's expense ratio is 1.50%.

KRE may currently have better year-to-date returns, as well as less expensive fees, but this ETF will always be bound by its passive indexing strategy. While this methodology may be appropriate for active investors, hands-off investors may prefer the watchful eye of Ellison -- and be willing to pay for it.

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