ETFs: Here are the basics you should know

ENTERING into the world of trading and investing can be scary. To mitigate that, we will discuss what are ETFs, one of the most sought after and innovative ways to trade on the market. What advantages and disadvantages ETFs have, Leveraged ETFs and the ETF trading process – these are just the basic things you should learn before the start.

What is an ETF?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) is a group of securities that you can buy and sell through a stock exchange or a brokerage company. ETFs are made up of a basket of related assets, from Stocks, Bonds, to commodities and currencies.

ETFs became an increasingly popular way of investing in financial markets. ETF structures allow investors to obtain leverage and avoid certain short-term capital gains taxes. In other words, these investments often contribute to a positive running equity and are not tax deductible. These financial instruments have many options available for investors to use surplus income, hedging and speculation strategies.

ETFs are one the most pursued financial products. They have higher daily liquidities and lower costs than mutual fund shares. This makes them attractive to investors and traders and perfect for long term investments.

The story of ETFs began in 1993, with its first form known as SPY or SPIDERS, becoming the highest volume of ETF in history. ETF’s mechanism is designed to keep its trading close to its net asset value.

The pros of ETF’s

  • They offer automatic diversification and trading flexibility.
  • Costs less with no commission.
  • Available to sell and buy at any time.
  • Tax efficient with no capital taxes owed.
  • May be able to offer easy exposure to a specific desired market sector.

The cons of ETF’s

  • Might not serve a long-term investors strategic outlook.
  • Settlement delays of up to two days.
  • Arbitrage discrepancies.
  • Some ETF’s can have a high bid resulting in higher costs.
  • International limitations.


ETF trading

ETF trading for retail investors, advisers and institutions making small purchases are almost like trading stocks. ETFs can be bought and sold just like company shares listed on an exchange market. An ETF will have a ticker symbol just as publicly listed stocks. Unlike company stocks, the number of shares in an ETF can change continuously as a result of uninterrupted creation of new shares.

Besides, the ETF market is large. This makes it easier to get in and out of trades. However, the liquidity varies greatly. Many investors would find ETFs useful for delving into different markets that they might not have otherwise. With this diverse approach investing in these areas could help mitigate the risks for many investors, thereby broadening the portfolio investment.


Leveraged ETF

Leveraged ETFs are essentially mutual funds that trade on a major stock exchange. There are many ETFs that allow investors to own all of the stocks in an index, while others can be actively managed. They use debt and derivatives to generate up to triple the amount of the daily performance of a certain index or asset class.

It can also produce unintended results in a long-term process, due to its mathematical nature, so try to keep your losses small in each trade that you make. It is perfectly normal to make mistakes with trial and error being the best way to learn.

Successful ETF traders are very disciplined making sure that their losses surpass a threshold of 5-10%, whilst leaving their large winners to run.

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