The rapid growth in exchange-traded funds is making the landscape a treacherous one for investors and advisors alike.

EnterState Street Global Advisors, which has released anETF Due Diligence Checklistto help investors and advisors evaluate an ETF’s index, provider, product structure, total cost, and liquidity.

For example, the checklist suggests asking questions like, “How long has the index existed?” and explains that even as new indexes are constructed, the index provider’s tenure in the marketplace can indicate a measure of stability.

During the past three years, the number of ETFs in the U.S. has climbed more than 60% from 768 in September 2009 to 1,263 ETFs in September 2012, according to SSgA.