NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the ETF industry becomes more expansive, providers are going to ever greater lengths to produce funds that will generate interest from the broad investing public.
While many funds manage to catch on right from the get-go, many more end up falling by the wayside. Interestingly, some funds that have struggled to gain popularity actually track interesting slices of the broad market. In this piece I will highlight five products which, while illiquid, have caught my attention.
Please note all the funds highlighted below are considered illiquid and therefore potentially subject to greater spreads. Risk tolerant investors looking to try their luck with any of these products listed should keep exposure small and maintain a very close watch on their performance.
Claymore/Sabrient Defensive Equity Index ETF
With economic concerns stoking fear in the hearts of many investors, investors are increasingly on the prowl for the best way to play defense. While in the past I have highlighted bond funds, gold, and dividend players like
iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund
as ways to combat against economic threats, DEF is another interesting option.
This Claymore fund is designed to track the Sabrient Defensive Equity Index. Comprising this index is a number of stocks, ADRs, and master limited partnerships which will aid investors in their attempts to ward off economic headwinds.
Top holdings include
Enterprise GP Holdings
. The fund is diversified; together, these positions represent only 5% of the fund's index. And although it changes hands less than 20,000 times per day, it has still managed to earn five stars from
Aside from providing investors with sanctuary against market downturn, DEF also provides an annual dividend valued at close to 3% and has beat the S&P 500 Index in the past year and year to date.
Global X China Technology ETF
The smartphone showdown between
continues to rage in the United States. However, the outcome may ultimately be decided on which of these companies can holds the crown among the growing population of Chinese mobile users.
Launched in late 2009, Global X's CHIB is part of the firm's unique suite of sector-specific China ETFs. Designed to encompass the nation's tech industry, this fund boasts exposure to popular names including
Telecom giants including
also make appearances among the fund's index. These companies are all well positioned to benefit from the growth of the smartphone and Internet sectors of the Chinese economy.