Popular ETFs You Should Never Use..

  Courtesy of CNBC..By: Lee Brodie

Exchange traded funds are among the more popular ways to trade. Called ETFs on the Street they allow investors to diversify risk through a basket of stocks.

A pro like trader Steve Grasso of Stuart Frankel who works on the floor of the NYSE, can barely move a foot or two without hearing “Buy the XLF or get me out of the GLD, now!’

But these and other popular ETFs may not always be your best bet.

According to Matt Hougan, IndexUniverse president of ETF analytics, there are alternative ETFs that aren’t as widely known, but may actually better serve your needs. He profiled five of them on CNBC’s Fast Money. They follow:

Sector      Widely Traded
Gold                  GLD

Hougan’s Alternative: IAU

Looking at the GLD, Hougan says the IAU  holds exactly the same thing. “It’s plenty liquid and owning it is about half the cost of the GLD.”

Sector         Widely Traded
Financials                XLF 

Hougan’s Alternative: IYF

Hougan says this is something of a popularity content. “People know the XLF .” However, the XLF only tracks large caps. (Click here to see top holdings on Yahoo! Finance.) If you want exposure to the entire banking sector Hougan recommends the IYF  for “the full spectrum.” Sector            Widely Traded
Junk Bonds              JNK

Hougan’s Alterantive: HYG 

Hougan says most investors don’t know that JNK is further out the junk spectrum. “The HYG holds slightly higher and safer securities,” he says.

Sector              Widely Traded
Dividend Equity        DVY

Hougan’s Alternative:  HDV

DVY was first, so everyone knows it,” explains Hougan. And the ticker is memorable. However, he explains that HDV  focuses on higher yielding securities as well as lower volatility securities making it preferable for many retail investors.

For the entire CNBC story, click here