The breadth of markets and asset classes available to middle class investors are broader than ever. Not only does the middle class have traditional stocks and bonds to choose from, but a world of ETF's (exchange traded funds) that allow investors to choose which sectors of the economy and which countries they wish to invest in. Moreover, as the world of ETF's continue to grow, ETF's have been created for commodities such as gold, crude oil, natural gas, and the broad commodity indexes. The asset mixes available to the middle class have never been greater and as more product comes to market, the choices available continue to expand. There are even inverse stock market funds to the stock market, and other funds that provide investors leverage.
Investors must look at the ETF's carefully to make sure they are structured to do what they are supposed to do. Some criticism of ETF's, such as natural gas and inverse stock market funds have some constraints are structural flaws that prevent them from performing in line with the underlying commodity or fund.
The world of stocks and commodities are two popular asset classes. Another asset class that is often overlooked are bonds. Bond funds, corporate bonds, tax-free bonds are also available to investors and provide them with income and less risk.
Investors should give careful consideration to the asset mix of their portfolios, risk factors, and safety when investing and building a portfolio.