A handful of (seemingly) unrelated links on the web today.

Roger Nusbaum in TheStreet.com reports on the new Poweshares Water Resources Portfolio (PHO). PowerShares has come under criticism because of the rapid introduction of “gimmicky” ETFs. The challenge for these narrowly defined index ETFs is that they do not represent “pure” exposure to an industry or factor. PHO seems less prone to this problem than prior funds. Nusbaum finds the global water theme intuitively appealing, despite some risks.

John M. Berry at Bloomberg.com sees an end to Fed interest rate hikes in 2006. The only question is whether the Fed will end up taking one step too many.

Mark Hulbert at Marketwatch.com responds to some contrarians who are fearful of the run-up in NYSE seat prices. There are obviously some one-time events affecting today’s prices.

The Savings Glut theme has some interesting side-effects in an article by Patrick Barta and Mary Kissel in the Wall Street Journal. Who would have thought that Australia would have become a major financial center that is funding infrastructure products around the world?

Christine Benz at Morningstar.com on six ways investors can make the most of their investment dollars.

Joanna Glasner in Wired reports on the trickling down of algorithmic trading techniques to individual investors and day traders. Reduced computing costs have allowed small investors to utilize “professional” techniques.

Call it the age of the machine trader. Computers have some major advantages over people in the trading game: They don’t sleep. They don’t ask for pay. And they aren’t subject to the equilibrium-killing forces of emotion, which have been known to provoke even the most disciplined human trader to abandon logic from time to time.

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