The debut of Barclays Global Investors' (BGI) bond exchange-traded funds (ETF) could not have been better timed.

Although many firms maintain that they develop products based on what will be best for investors, even fund companies tend to chase performance, and many end up introducing funds at the tail end of a hot phase. Merrill Lynch of New York would probably like to have launched its Internet Strategies Fund a little sooner than March 2000.

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