Articles Tagged with exchange traded funds

In recent years, exchange-traded products, “ETFs,” have become increasingly more popular on Wall Street and in the investor community. Institutional investors and retail investors alike have invested in exchange-traded products. Astoundingly, exchange-traded funds are a trillion-dollar market that continues to grow in value with passing time. While some ETFs are like mutual funds, others are a speculative gamble. There are many ETFs that investors should be wary of before deciding to invest. Not all ETFs are created equal.

What are Exchange-Traded Funds and How Do They Work?

Exchange-traded funds are securities that track an index, basket of stocks, bonds or a commodity. For an investor to own an ETF is the equivalent of indirectly holding a share of the total basket of underlying assets. In return, the investor receives a proportional amount of the fund’s profits and residuals. Investors can also use exchange-traded funds as a tracking mechanism for exposure to a specific index or collection of securities.

The Bexit vote in Britain appears to be exposing fault lines across various investments.  The Wall Street Journal reported today that emerging market currencies are taking on steep losses a day after Britain voted to leave the European Union, termed Brexit.  According to the article, this comes as the British Pound dropped to a thirty year low and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.K. down from Triple-A status.

Other investments are also showing strain, including oil, and foreign companies, including European banks.  These investments are often packaged into products such as exchange traded funds or limited partnerships, which are generally considered risky and not suitable for certain investors.

For instance, we have commented in recent blog posts that oil and gas limited partnerships are not appropriate for investors that cannot afford to have a significant portion of their portfolio locked up in such an illiquid investment that generally pays high commissions to the brokers who recommend them.