Only a few years ago exchange-traded funds were considered obscure investments, but today, serious investors are reportedly building entire portfolios from the fast-growing investment category through brokerage accounts, Dow Jones News reports.

Heretofore, ETFs were mainly used by institutional investors, but it was mostly individual shareholders who helped push the investment category to $211.7 billion as of Nov. 30, 2004, an increase of $79 billion in net flows from the year earlier.

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