A number of websites have sprung up to educate investors about exchange-traded funds, MarketWatch reports. Those that aren’t free are quite expensive, but some of them are free.

Charles Schwab, for instance, offers an ETF screener and ETF reports, and Morningstar offers ETF screens.

“It’s getting harder to keep up with all of the new ETFs,” said Sonya Morris, a Morningstar analyst. “These tools can help investors sort through all of the different funds and target what they’re really looking for in any given category. There’s really not a silver bullet on how to select an ETF. That’s why it’s important for investors to have a lot of choices on how they want to parse all of the data.”

XTF.com puts yet a different spin on things, analyzing whether an exchange-traded fund tracks a traditional or an enhanced index. XTF has begun creating its database and plans to have it completed within a month.

XTF Chief Executive Officer Mike Woods believes individual investors will be interested in his ETF screens, but that institutional investors will be even more interested. “The institutional type of investor is much more focused on hedging. So, they’re looking at things like tracking error to an index and being very precise on managing their risks,” Woods said. “Tracking error really comes down to cash management issues and how quickly an ETF makes changes to its portfolio when something happens to a company.”

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.