Spider ETFs are one of the most popular provider’s of ETFs in the US and are administered by State Street Global Advisors. Their most famous ETFs track either the whole or an industry part of the S&P 500, most notably the [htmwquote]SPY[/htmwquote] (SPDR S&P500).
The [htmwquote]SPY[/htmwquote] ETF in particular is very useful to beginners because it tracks what is generally regarded as “the market” (The S&P 500 and the Dow-Jones Industrial Average are usually the indices quoted in finance news). It is usually regarded as the goal of most investors to “beat the market”, which is always hard to do when picking individual stocks, but by buying a Spider ETF, investors can let the market do the work for them, with the ETF holdings representing a fairly balanced portfolio.
However, they offer over a hundred ETFs covering everything from the Russell 2000 ([htmwquote]TWOK[/htmwquote]) to the DOW ([htmwquote]DIA[/htmwquote]), to small cap to emerging market ETFs. One of their other well known ETFs is [htmwquote]GLD[/htmwquote], which tracks the price of gold.