NEW YORK - Although the summer has only just begun, it was "Back to School" last week here at a State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) seminar for financial advisers, on the finer points of exchange-traded funds.

The ETF marketplace, now with more than $640 billion in assets, may still represent a mere fraction of the $12 trillion in mutual funds. But in April, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, ETF assets totaled $596 billion, up a substantial 28% from $467 billion in April 2007. Meanwhile, assets in all types of mutual funds grew a respectable, but considerably smaller, 7% throughout all of 2007.

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