ETF Investing: SEC may make it easier to create exchange-traded funds

Exchange-traded funds have been one of the most popular segments of Wall Street for years, with assets seeming to hit records on a monthly basis, but a potential upcoming regulatory change could accelerate the already-blistering levels growth in the industry.

The Securities and Exchange Commission will next week hold a meeting that could result in the adoption of a new rule that could ease the regulatory burden of launching a new ETF.

Currently, ETFs are covered by the Investment Company Act of 1940, a rule that was primarily designed for mutual funds. While ETFs have some elements in common with mutual funds, in that they hold baskets of securities like stocks or bonds, they differ in that they are traded intraday on exchanges, like stocks.

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