More ways to surf the water theme

Aaron Pressman

Investing in companies in the water business has worked out pretty well for the past few years. Water is a limited resource in many parts of the world and business is booming for companies that supply water infrastructure, run water utilities and help control or remove pollutants to make more clean water. I first wrote about it two years ago and noted the existence of an exchange-traded fund, the PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio (Symbol: PHO) that gave investors an easy way to play the trend in an ETF story back in March, 2006. It's worked pretty well. The now $1.6 billion fund gained 22% last year and is up 6% year to date. In ETF land success invariably breeds imitation and so the solid performance of the Powershares water fund has now spawned two competing offerings worth a look.

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