Thursday, May 3, 2018

Basics About ETFs for Beginners

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Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are not too popular instruments for retail traders and probably if you are new to trading you haven’t heard of them before. 

ETF trading had become popular in the last few years among institutional investors like investment banks, hedge funds, equity funds and even pension funds. 

Since the “big players” from the financial world had been eager to invest in ETFs, let’s see what exactly this assets are, so you can understand them better and decide yourself if it is worth to invest your time and money.

What is an ETF?

To understand an ETF, you should think about a basket with a few different products in it. An ETF is a tradable instrument which tracks the performance of a commodity, index, stock or a group of assets just like an index

The ETF market had been on the rise in the last few years and only in the United States, there is an annual trading volume of approximately $ 20 trillion just with ETFs, according to That’s more than the annual GDP of the US and proves the high interest there is for this kind of instruments.

Why should someone buy an ETF?

There are several reasons why ETF trading might be good. First of all, it provides diversification. As we’ve mentioned at the beginning, you can buy a basket of assets, not just one. 

By doing this, you have the risk spread across a certain number of assets, not just one. If you buy a stock, for example, and the stock goes down, you are losing money. 

But if you are buying an ETF which tracks a basket of 5 stocks, your risk will be spread and even though one or two will perform poorly if the others have a good performance, the risk will be balanced.

Investing in a fund

It is also imperative to understand that ETFs are created by banks. When you buy an ETF you are basically buying a portion of the fund behind it. 

The fund is the one who invests in the assets contained by that particular ETF. We must also mention that ETFs are regulated instruments. 

Each bank that wants to create them needs to send the proper documentation to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval. Only if they receive the approval they can move along and create the fund.

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