Home Investment What is ETF? Definition and types

What is ETF? Definition and types


An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is one investment vehicle you can employ to diversify your portfolios. Considering the growing popularity of this financial tool, there’s a need to educate people on the various types and their unique investment approaches.

While ETFs share some similarities with individual stocks, there are still major distinctions serious investors should note. Fortunately, companies issue investment prospectuses to satisfy your curiosity about this issue.


A regular prospectus contains details on the investment objectives, historical performance, charges, and risks to expect. Even though they are professionally managed, investors still need to know how it works to protect their shares. This article will show you the ropes, including the definition and benefits an ETF offers.

What is an Exchange Traded Fund?


An exchange-traded fund is an investment offering a variety of options in one place. Think of it as a huge box holding smaller investment assets. It provides easy access and faster trading options, making it a sound option for investors who want to diversify their portfolios.

Additionally, this investment fund doubles as an exchange-traded product meaning it is usually traded on stock exchanges. It is a low-risk investment that holds assets like stocks, debts, future contracts, bonds, commodities, and gold bars. All information concerning an ETF list of assets and weightings is usually posted on the issuer’s website.

How does exchange-traded funds work

Investors may partially own an ETF but not the entire fund’s assets. They gain access to shares from registered SEC companies that also provide advisers to all clients. In addition, they offer management solutions to help you invest in multiple assets.

Providers take multiple assets into account but only allow investors to buy part of the shares. Trading is similar to that of common stock, and investors can buy and sell until the market closes.


However, prices are likely to fluctuate during trading hours in line with market demand and supply.

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Even though ETFs are known to replicate returns on specific indexes they track, the irregularities between funds index performance and that of the ETFs may cause difficulties.


Types of ETFs

  • Actively managed: Trading is managed by professionals who try to outperform previous standards. Almost 15% of ETFs are actively managed.
  • Passive index: This type keeps track of a specific market index; passive ETFs mirror the performance of a broader market to make a profit.
  • Commodity: The main purpose of a commodity ETF is to follow the prices of a particular commodity, including oil, gold, or silver.
  • Currency: They shadow a currency basket and monitor the performance of a particular currency.
  • Bond: This focuses on fixed-income securities and brings exposure to other bond types.
  • Style ETFs: Funds replicate specific investment approaches or market size focus
  • Foreign market ETFs: Observe foreign markets and invest in global companies aside from your home country


Flexible trading: Investors are free to trade whenever they choose, which is a different approach from mutual funds, where you can only trade at the end of the day.

Transparency: It mandates daily reports on holdings to ensure trust and transparency.

Liquidity: ETF investors trade on stock exchanges on trading days. They have the right to purchase or sell shares at market prices.

Trading transactions: Unlike mutual funds, ETF investors can manage their choice of order

Diversification: Investors value these about Exchange Traded Funds. They can invest in multiple assets at once.

Tax efficient: Exchange Traded Funds are more tax efficient than actively managed mutual funds.


To conclude, take some time to understand Exchange Traded Funds’ investment objectives, costs, and risks and choose a provider offering a competitive edge. Aside from the benefits promised by issuers, details on the performance history and expense ratio are necessary when investing in an Exchange Traded Funds.



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