The ETF Boom

Exchange-traded funds are increasingly popular, but severe risks exist.

Even in bad stock market years, families may still want to contribute to 529 plans.

Even in bad stock market years, families may still want to contribute to 529 plans.

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Leveraged ETFs "have a purpose, but investors need to do their due diligence on what they buy," Douds says. "Leveraged ETFs don't behave over the long term like most investors believe that they will."

"There's a lot of ETFs out there that are good tools in the asset-allocation process, but be very skeptical of some of the recent products that are out there," Douds says.