What is an ETF ? Most popular 7 types of ETF

In this article , we will explore the world of unique ETFs in the US market. Before coming to our topic we have knowledge about ETFs. So what is an ETF?. ETF stands for Exchange Traded Fund. Imagine it as a mixed bag of stocks and bonds all bundled up in one fund, similar to a mutual fund. But, here’s the twist: ETFs are traded on the US stock exchanges with real-time pricing.

Table of Contents

Understanding ETFs with Ice Cream Example

To understand the concept of an ETF, imagine you run an ice cream stand. Each flavor is a different stock or investment.ETFs just like sundaes of Ice cream of different flavors. If you like just chocolate flavor but also want to try vanilla and strawberry, you can enjoy a variety of flavors without buying a whole tub of ice cream. Unlike ISI, ETFs allow you to invest separately without buying each stock or bond individually. Before we jump into the different types of ETF, here’s a fun fact for you. If we go back to 2003, there were only 123 ETFs in the US markets. Fast forward to the end of 2021, and that number skyrocketed to over 2,600.

1. Index ETFs

In the world of ETFs the most important and popular ETF is Index ETF. These ETFs aim to mirror the performance of a specific benchmark index, such as the Nasdaq-100. Think of them as cousins to index mutual funds, but with a unique twist. Unlike mutual funds, you can buy and sell Index ETFs throughout the day, just like you would with individual stocks. Consider the Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) as an example. This ETF shadows the Nasdaq-100, offering investors exposure to all 100 stocks listed on the Nasdaq-100 without the need to invest in each stock separately. Index ETFs typically follow a passive management approach, keeping expenses low and making them an accessible investment option.

2.Global Investment with International ETFs

International ETFs take you on a global investment journey, tracking foreign securities and offering both global and country-specific options. Take the Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS), for instance—it follows the FTSE Global All Cap ex US index, giving you exposure to companies outside the United States. Another example is the Morgan Stanley China A Share Fund (CAF), focusing on Chinese A-shares. Remember, while these ETFs diversify your portfolio, single-country ETFs can be riskier. If a country faces financial troubles, it might impact an ETF invested solely in that region. Keep in mind, too, that international ETFs often have higher expense ratios due to the added costs of investing abroad. Stay informed for smart investing decisions on the global stage.

3. Focus on Growth with Sector ETFs

Sector ETFs are like investing in specific job roles rather than entire companies. They concentrate on a particular industry, and their names usually give away where they’re putting your money. Take the Alps Clean Energy ETF (ACES), for instance. It invests in US and Canadian companies in the clean energy business, covering renewables and clean tech. It’s a simple way to boost your investment in an industry you believe has a bright future. Just remember, while it can bring big rewards, it also comes with the risks of that specific industry. Keep it in mind as you navigate these targeted investments.

4. Big Ideas, Small Packages: Thematic ETFs

Thematic ETFs are like investment shortcuts to big ideas. Unlike sector ETFs that focus on specific industries, these ETFs target broader themes, like cutting-edge technologies or climate change.For instance, the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ) lets you invest in companies driving developments in robotics and AI. Interested in revolutionary biotech solutions? Check out the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) for exposure to gene editing and stem cells.These ETFs simplify your investment in exciting themes, even if you’re not an expert. It’s like having a ticket to the future of innovation without needing a PhD in finance.

5. Earning While Investing: Dividend ETFs

Dividend ETFs ,these’re just like investing in a basket of stocks that pay you regularly. These funds not only offer the potential for long-term growth but also serve up a consistent income. Think of them as a garden of high-dividend-yielding companies. While it’s essential to note that these dividends aren’t always guaranteed, Dividend ETFs simplify things by letting you hold a mix of these income-generating stocks, like the iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO) with big names such as Microsoft and Apple. As we wrap up our ETF journey, remember to check out our article on five things to know before diving into ETF investments. Before choosing an ETF, do your research and chat with your investment advisor for the best fit for you.

6. Bond ETFs in a Nutshell: Navigating Stability and Income

Bond ETFs, or Bond Exchange-Traded Funds, offer a shortcut to stability and income for investors. Functioning like a basket of bonds, they provide diversified exposure to various bonds, traded on the stock exchange throughout the day. The perks include instant diversification, liquidity for easy trading, and income generation through periodic dividends. Managed by professionals, these funds balance risk and returns. Considerations include interest rate and credit risks, as well as comparing expense ratios for cost-effectiveness. Examples like iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) showcase the versatility of Bond ETFs in creating balanced, income-generating portfolios.

7. Commodity ETFs 

Commodity Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) provide investors with a straightforward path to diversification and exposure to commodities. Tracking specific commodity indices, these funds, such as SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), offer a hedge against inflation and access to diverse resources. With the advantage of liquidity and simplicity, Commodity ETFs allow investors to participate in commodity price movements without navigating the complexities of direct commodity trading. Key considerations include understanding tracking methodology, monitoring market conditions, and being aware of potential roll costs associated with futures contracts. As a valuable addition to a well-rounded portfolio, Commodity ETFs offer accessibility and strategic benefits for investors.

Commodity ETF vs. Commodity Exchange Traded Note (ETN)

ETNs seek to match the returns of an underlying asset and they do so by employing different strategies, including buying stocks, bonds, and options. Advantages of ETNs include limited tracking error between the ETN and the asset it is tracking and better tax treatment; an investor only pays regular capital gains when the ETN is sold.

The main risk involved with ETNs is the credit quality of the issuing institution.1

Examples of a Commodity ETF

Commodity ETFs track a wide range of underlying commodities. Some focus on specific commodities, including precious metals, oil, and natural gas, while others have a broader reach and track a diversified basket of commodities.

Investors should always do their own research, but some of the best commodity ETFs invest in precious metals such as gold and silver. These are popular ETFs because the underlying commodity can’t go bad or spoil. The SPDR Gold Shares and iShares Silver Trust are two of the largest gold and silver ETFs.23

Another popular type of commodity is oil and natural gas. Oil and gas can’t be stockpiled like precious metals, so these ETFs invest in futures contracts instead of the commodity itself. An example of an ETF in this sector is the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF, which has a diversified portfolio of 58 oil and gas producing companies as of October 2023.4

Alternatively, some investors choose to increase diversification through diversified commodities ETFs. These funds spread their bets by investing in a range of different commodities.

Disadvantages of Commodity ETFs

Commodity markets are usually in one of two different states: conlang or backwardation. When futures are in contango, prices for a particular future are higher in the future than they are now. When futures are in backwardation, prices for a commodity are higher now than they are in the future.

When a futures market is in contango the rolling risk is “negative,” which means that a commodity ETF will be selling lower-priced futures that are expiring and buying higher-priced futures, which is known as negative roll yield. The cost of adding higher-priced futures reduces returns and acts as a drag on the ETF, preventing it from accurately tracking the spot price of the commodity.5

There are commodity ETFs that pursue laddered strategies and optimized strategies to avoid the risks posed by a market that is in contango. A laddered strategy uses futures with multiple expiry dates, meaning not all the futures contracts are replaced at once. An optimized strategy attempts to choose futures contracts that have the mildest contango and the steepest backwardation in an attempt to minimize costs and maximize yields.

Both of these approaches may minimize costs but do so at the expense of actually tracking and potentially benefiting from short-term moves in the price of the underlying commodity. As such, they may be more suitable for longer-term, more risk-averse investors.

Read about :

Navigating Salt Lake City Truck Accident Challenges

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *