When I want a job done on my lawnmower, I usually want a mechanic skilled to do the work with the right tools handy to do the repair. The blade needs sharpening, so a grinding wheel is needed.

When it comes to picking investments, the right tool includes enlisting the help of an online resource. For ETF evaluations, it is helpful to start with “The ETF Experts.” XTF is a global research firm dedicated to helping investors harness the power of ETF’s. Much of their content is free.

When you are considering an ETF, you should be concerned about expenses, dividend income and diversification. You want to know what is inside the ETF. XTF.com provides some helpful information. For example, I entered ETF VYM on the XTF site to learn about the top holdings. The “Fund Exposure” tab is also very helpful. You can see graphs that show sector exposure, industry exposure, style exposure (Growth, value, blend), capitalization exposure, region exposure and country exposure.

A cardinal rule of investing, is “buy what you know.” In order to know something about an ETF, use the resources at XTF to expand your knowledge before you buy. Here are some samples from XTF’s review of VYM:

LINK: http://www.xtf.com/