I generally favor Barclays' ETF (exchange traded funds) offerings over others both in my portfolio and in my postings on this site. My reasons for this are quite simple.
- Barclays is the industry veteran when it comes to ETFs. They have the largest portfolio. This adds a level of comfort over other providers.
- The ETFs from Barclays are generally the most liquid. Although ETFs are not sold at much of a premium or discount because of arbitrage, it still can help a little when buying and selling if there are a lot of shares available for trading.
- Barclays' ETFs are passively managed. That is, they holdings within the ETF track an index. Some other ETF providers are trying to espouse the benefits of actively managed ETFs. I say why bother? Want a manager? Go with a mutual fund with a decent track record.
- True to their word, Barclays' ETFs didn't trigger any capital gains for 2005. That might be true for other ETFs, I'm not sure, but I'm glad nonetheless.
- If you happen to be a Canadian investor, Barclays offers RRSP-eligible ETFs that allow Canadians to assemble a diversified portfolio. This to me indicates that they know what they're doing.