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Top 10 Technology ETFs

NEW YORK ( ETF Digest) -- Our goal in this profile is to help investors wade through the many competing ETF offerings available. Using our long experience as an ETF publication, we can help select those ETFs that matter and may not be repetitive. The result is a more manageable list of issues from which to view and make selections.

There are currently nearly three dozen ETFs oriented to the technology sector with more on the way. The following analysis features a fair representation of ETFs available. We believe from these investors may choose an appropriate ETF to satisfy the best index-based offerings individuals and financial advisors may utilize.

We're not ranking these ETFs against each other so don't let the listing order mislead you. Although we may use some of these in ETF Digest portfolios, it's not our intention to recommend one over another.

ETFs are based on indices tied to well-known index providers including Russell, S&P, Barclays, MSCI, Dow Jones and so forth. Also included are some so-called "enhanced" indices that attempt to achieve better performance through more active management of the index.

We prefer not to use HOLDRS but the continuing popularity, liquidity and trading ease with an issue like SMH (ML Semiconductor HOLDRS) trumps this concern at least in this instance. For the most part we'll stick with ETFs.

Where competitive issues or repetitive issues are available at a fee cost saving we mention those as other choices. New issues are coming to market consistently (especially globally) and sometimes these issues will need to become more seasoned before they may be included at least in our listings.

For traders and investors wishing to hedge, leveraged and inverse issues are available to utilize from ProShares and Direxion and where available these are noted.

XLK (SPDR Technology Sector ETF) follows the Technology Select Sector Index which basically breaks down the S&P 500 to those companies involved in all technology and relevant subsectors. The fund was launched December 1998. It was the first and remains the largest technology-only ETF. Assets under management are over $7.7 billion while average daily trading volume is over 10.5 million shares. The expense ratio is .20%. Through July 7, 2011 the annual dividend remains at 33 cents making the yield 1.26% and YTD return 5.12%.

Direxion and ProShares have leveraged long and inverse issues available for trading or hedging.

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