With more than 225 initial public offering deals expected to be compiled by December, this will be the busiest year for IPOs since 2001, said Linda Killian, a partner at Renaissance Capital, an independent research firm that focuses on the IPO market.

   Speaking last week at the 10th Annual Financial Advisor Symposium in Chicago, Killian said that the IPO market is experiencing, well, a renaissance that's a long way from the aftermath of the tech wreck.

   "We think our research has proven [IPOs] to be a valuable way to deliver both diversification and performance," said Killian, whose firm provides IPO research for Wall Street brokerage houses, investment banks and institutional investors.

   Renaissance Capital is the advisor to the IPO Plus Aftermarket fund (IPOSX), which delivered a one-year return of 25.6% (as of Oct. 15) versus the S&P's 14.9% return. But it comes with a steep expense ratio of 2.50%, and its annual turnover rate of 260% makes it better suited for tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

   Killian's firm launched the Renaissance IPO Index in September, a float-weighted benchmark that tracks the IPO market, and she said Renaissance hopes to turn the index into a fund in the near future.

-Tracey Longo