NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As we head into the final days of 2011, investor confidence continues to be tested by the deluge of concerning economic news coming from regions across the globe. With Europe still embroiled in its sovereign debt woes and slowdown fears gripping emerging nations like China, U.S. investors may be temped to ring in the new year from the safety of defensive assets like cash. Despite these daunting fears, I encourage investors to avoid fleeing the markets entirely.
Maintaining exposure to this market does not necessarily mean diving headfirst into risk, however. Given the shaky action we are witnessing, conservative investors looking to construct a well-balanced portfolio should be on the lookout for ways to access the safest regions of growth-correlated sectors. For example, investors looking to gain exposure to technology at this time may want to turn their attention toward the software industry.
Comparing the performance of the iShares S&P North American Technology Software Index Fund (IGV) to that of other technology-focused ETFs, it is clear that software has been a big winner in 2011. Over the past month, three months, six months, and year-to-date periods, IGV has managed to handedly outpace products including the iShares S&P North American Technology Multimedia Networking Index Fund (IGN), and the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Index Fund (SOXX).