There was $2.034 trillion invested in 1,847 exchange-traded funds as of the end of January, according to Morningstar.

That makes it difficult to pick the right funds. And what about smart beta? One rule of thumb that I embrace is that bigger and broader is almost always better because not only are bigger ETFs typically more liquid, they are better constructed as well. The largest 100 ETFs have attracted nearly 75% of the assets, and the largest 10 alone have 27% of all ETF assets, according to Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of global ETF research.

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