Beginners Guide to ETFs

What Is An ETF?

On many occasions, you have heard the word ETFs. If you are a reader of investment blogs and investment news, the term must have caught your attention already. Many investment vehicles have proven worthwhile before, and any new one joining the niche should stand out, offer more benefits, and more security. If it meets all these requirements, and many others, then it will start gaining popularity.

Whether ETFs is suitable for you or not, you can find out from this article. Before you decide to add it to your portfolio or gain enthusiasm in it, this article will answer all the basic questions you have. It is a simple means to begin investing, generate impressive returns, and grow more in the niche. It is fairly easy to understand ETFs, as indicated in this writing.

What Does ETF Stand for?

ETFs stand for Exchange-Traded Fund. A fund, a pool of money, used to purchase bonds, stocks, and other investments. The pool has divisions of the funds, shares, which end up traded on exchanges. With interest to purchase some shares, you will buy some portion of funds from another person on an exchange but it must be within the price agreed.

An Exchange-Traded Fund asset value is calculated by dividing the sum of the current asset value by the number of outstanding shares. This value ought to be published in a lapse of 15 seconds throughout every trading day. You should remember that this NAV isn’t necessarily the market price of the Fund.

What is ETF Trading?

Investors can buy as few shares or as many as he or she wants. The price ranges fluctuate the entire time throughout the day, and the shorting technique can be used to make more money.

Exchange-Traded Funds trade similarly to stocks. So, buyers have to pay some brokerage commission when they sell or purchase shares. Shareholders incur less in taxes as compared to index funds. You pay capital gains only on the final sale.

The trade has exploded massively over the last 10 years, and today you can witness more than 5000 Exchange-Trade Funds on the market. They have also been estimated to hold in investment assets $3 trillion. They are actively-traded in a day, and this makes their share prices fluctuate every minute, just like stocks.

The narrow focus in ETFs enables investors to leverage on a larger trend rather than be glutinous on one company. When you bet widely instead of focusing on the performance of one company, the risk is spread further, and the business becomes more profitable.

Stock & ETF Trading Signals

ETFs vs Normal Stocks

The major difference between stocks and ETFs is comparable to a can of beans and an entire grocery shop. Buying a stock translates to investing in one company. This means if the company experiences a rise in stock prices, so will the value of the investment you staked. On the contrary, when you invest in ETFs, it can be translated to investing in a market wholly rather than picking an individual ‘loser’ or ‘winner’.

Many opportunities abound beyond normal stocks, from treasury bonds to ETFs, and it is in the best interest of an investor or an enthusiast of investment to know his or her options.

You ought to understand the difference between a stock and a Traded Fund. Just like a stock, ETFs is traded on major exchanges such as NASDAQ and NYSE. Unlike stocks which focus on one company, ETFs track indexes, bonds, a commodity, or baskets of securities.

Owning ETFs helps hedge the risks that come with individual companies. It allows investors to be involved in an index or entire industry with one investment. It spreads the risk wider, and in most cases, it happens that profits are acquired more than losses, thus making it quite a worthy risk to take.

ETFs have quite some advantages, which form the cornerstone of passive investing, a known successful strategy of investing. You can buy and sell ETFs, just like stocks, but ETFs provide more safety than individual stock trades. The fortunes of one firm may be derailed, but it is quite less likely that the values of many companies will be so volatile.

You’re safer investing in a portfolio of several other ETFs as this ensures that you are covered in the event one market goes down. Comparing the fees incurred between stocks and ETFs, stocks account for more fees than ETFs. Investments that are actively-traded also have bigger fees than ETFs, for example, mutual funds.

Mutual Funds vs ETFs

The similarities between exchange-traded funds and traditional mutual funds make them seem the same, while in the real sense; there are notable differences every trader and enthusiast needs to consider. The notable differences present themselves in terms of tax implications, how to trade them, and how much each cost.

Some traders do not have any preference between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. It’s only a quarter of them that has any particular preference. How everyone invests in traded funds or mutual funds depends on his or her investing time frame, the goals you have, and your financial plans, among many others.

Since you already know that Traded Funds and Traditional Mutual Funds are both pools of money where investors come to buy shares, the close similarity now comes out clearly. For mutual funds, most of them are usually managed actively by appropriate investment professionals. They determine where they invest the funds of an asset. This depends on the investment objectives of the specific funds, which mostly entail income and growth.

Being that most Mutual Funds have active management, the rest are managed passively as index funds. They follow a specific index. Active management has someone who chooses and picks investments, a factor that creates some notable difference within Mutual Funds.

When talking about Exchange Traded Funds, most of them are index funds and have passive management. Still, you will find a smaller share of Exchange Traded Funds employing one or two aspects of active management. Unlike the case for mutual funds, Traded Funds are usually listed on all major stock exchange markets.

The Net Asset Value of a Mutual Fund is calculated at the closing point of every trading day, which is quite strange as compared to Traded Funds. This means Mutual Funds have constant day prices. For mutual funds, trades only occurs when the day closes, making them happen only once a day and retaining their prices at a daily constant.

Stock & ETF Trading Signals

If the Traded Fund demand gets sufficient, new blocks of shares are build-up by the relevant investment banks. The banks can also dissolve shares by unwinding some blocks of shares and selling securities. This move ensures that the shares stay at fair prices as they also avoid costs incurred during withdrawals and new cash additions.

So, here is the big question: ETFs or Mutual Funds? The decision between Exchange Trade Funds and Mutual Funds should not necessarily be treated like an either/or proposition. In your diversified portfolio, you might find a place for both of these investment vehicles.

How to Invest in ETFs

To invest in ETFs, you first begin by opening a brokerage account online. You need to own a brokerage account first for you to successfully buy and sell shares. This step sets you right at the center of the game.

You ought to choose beginner-friendly ETFs. It will serve you the best if you choose the recommended ETFs for beginners. After making your decisions, the rest of the work is left to the ETFs you choose to give feedback after the agreed period.

Get the best deal where commission charges are low, especially through online brokerage. You can purchase Exchange Traded Funds through brokerage accounts or trusted brokers. Anywhere a stock can be purchased, an Exchange Fund can too.

With a sober mind, make an educated decision before investing. Consult with relevant professionals, trusted friends, and family. Customer reviews are a plus when seeking the legitimacy of a source. Ensure you benefit more, in the long run.

ETFs are by far more liquid and cost-effective than mutual funds. You should also know that ETFs funds hold many underlying assets, as opposed to a single one like stocks. With ETFs investing, you can own thousands of stocks across many industries, or you could choose to isolate it to a particular sector.

7 Best ETFs for Beginners

ETFs are welcoming for beginners. This is because they possess many benefits such as abundant liquidity, diversification, and low-investment threshold.

Beginner traders and investors have an advantage with Exchange Traded Funds. ETFs have plenty of features, and this sets them as ideal trading instruments for new traders and investors who are still learning the art of the business.

Extra ETFs features create a perfect channel for various investment and trading strategies. The following is an enlistment of the ETFs strategies fit for beginners. Study them well, understand, and make an educated decision to avoid disappointments.

Dollar-Cost Averaging:

This is a technique of purchasing certain fixed-dollar amounts of some assets on regular schedules, regardless of the ever-changing costs of the assets. Most beginner investors are young people who have stayed in the workforce for less than two years and also have a stable source of income from which they save monthly.

Dollar-cost averaging has two major advantages. When beginner investors save periodically, it imparts into them a discipline of saving. Most beginners may want to save but without a strategy that compels you to remit the funds, it is unlikely that you will save up any significant amount of money.

The second advantage is the handsome pay you are likely to get, in the end, when you stay disciplined on the course of your ETFs monthly investments.

Swing Trading:

A swing trade takes advantage of significant swings that happen in stocks or any other instruments like commodities and currencies. They may take a few days to an entire week to materialize, unlike day trades, which are rarely left open overnight.

Asset Allocation:

Asset allocation, a powerful investing tool, involves allocating portions of a portfolio to unique categories of assets, such as commodities, bonds, stocks, and cash, for purposes of diversification.

Most ETFs have a low investment threshold, making it easier for beginner investors to implement the asset allocation strategy, depending on the risk tolerance and investment time horizon he or she can take.

Short Selling:

Short-selling entails the selling of borrowed financial instruments or security. It is a volatile move for investors, and beginners shouldn’t attempt. The risk involved in short selling for ETFs is lower than individual stocks. A beginner should consider all the necessary risk-mitigations before any move.


As a beginner, you will occasionally want to protect the downside risk in substantial portfolios, perhaps a portfolio that you acquired through inheritance. Also, for hedging, you must be keen and attentive to note the slightest change and shift.

Seasonal Trends:

Beginners can potentially capitalize on seasonal trends. A studied trend in the seasons can be used to determine the stake fit for every time.

In some seasons, gold prices rise due to demand, for instance in India during November and December. Their Diwali festivities and weddings call for accessories from gold in plenty. As a beginner investor, you can bet on the seasonal strength of gold by purchasing the popular gold ETFs, GLD, the SPDR Gold Trust.

One should note that these predicted seasonal trends at times fail. They do not always turn out right, and stop-losses techniques are advisable for such positions, to cover against big risks of losses.

Sector Rotation:

Depending on the different stages of an economic cycle, ETFs make it quite simple for most beginners to execute the strategy known as sector rotation. One ought to be on the lookout for more defensive sectors and rake in more profits.

Bottom Line

ETFs are increasingly becoming popular with each day that passes. They are a perfect fit for investors and traders who capture a broad index or a sector in one instant security. ETFs have a unique nature, and several strategies can be used to increase ETFs investing.

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