What Is An Exchange Traded Fund for 2022

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What Is An Exchange Traded Fund Guide

Updated January 18, 2022

What Is An Exchange Traded Fund?

An Exchange Traded Fund is a type of investment fund and is traded on stock exchanges. One might say that to some extent it is similar to mutual funds. However, mutual funds are not traded throughout the day, unlike ETFs. These are traded on the price quoted at the end of a trading day.

An ETF holds a plethora of assets, including commodities, currencies, bonds, and of course stocks. It is designed to operate with an arbitrage mechanism so that trading remains at almost the same rate as its net asset value. These are mostly index funds and the popular ones are the NASDAQ-100 index and the S&P 500 index.

ETFs are divided into shares to spread ownership among shareholders. This means shareholders own assets of the fund, even if not directly. They receive annual reports and are also entitled to profits based on the share ratios. They obtain dividends and interests and are entitled to residual values during the time of liquidation.

ETFs are of a low cost and are tax efficient in nature. These two factors, along with tradability, make ETFs attractive to investors. More than 5,000 ETFs were traded in 2017 across the world and at least 1,700 of those were based in the United States. In the U.S., the total number of assets in September 2020 reached $4.9 trillion. By January 2021 an increase was witnessed and the value rose to $5.5 trillion.

What Is An Exchange Traded Fund Cost?

The costs of ETFs are low as most of them are index funds. These are simpler to run and hence not actively managed. They save traders from paying brokerage commissions as no maintenance of cash reserves are required for redemptions and there is no need to manage the buying and selling of securities in order to accommodate purchases and redemptions of shareholders.

What Is Exchange Traded Fund Tax?

Tax-wise, ETFs are better than mutual funds as they generate no capital gains tax. In the United Kingdom, taxes can be shielded if investments in ETFs are executed through a Self-Invested Personal Pension or Individual Savings Account.

What Is Exchange Traded Fund Trading?

ETFs are traded at current market prices, unlike mutual funds which are traded at the price quoted at the end of a trading day. ETFs are cheaper than mutual funds and can be bought or sold cheaply.

Types of ETFs

There are several different types of ETFs and below are a couple of the most popular:

Index ETFs

ETFs are mostly index funds and replicate the performances of some of the popular indexes, such as the NASDAQ-100 Index and the S&P 500 Index.

Commodity ETFs

These ETFs invest in agricultural products, petroleum, precious metals, and other such commodities in a similar way as ETFs in securities do. Most of such ETFs own physical commodities, and a good example is SPDR Gold Shares which own more than 40 million ounces of gold in trusts.

Currency ETFs

With currency ETFs, one can invest in a basket of currencies and these are issued by Deutsche Bank, Invesco, and several other investment institutions.

History of ETFs

The history of ETFs dates back to 1989 when a proxy of the S&P 500 was created and named Participation Shares. They were traded on the American Stock Exchange and simultaneously on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. However, its life was short and its trading came to a halt by a Chicago Mercantile Exchange lawsuit.

A year later, Toronto Index Participation Shares was created and tracked the TSE 35. It was traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The history of the first leveraged ETF dates back to 2006 with its issuance executed by ProShares. Two years later, the SEC authorised the creation of the financial instrument based on active management strategies.

The total assets under management were valued at $2 trillion in U.S. ETFs in December 2014. By November 2019 it had reached $4 trillion, and in January 2021 it rose further to $5.5 trillion.

What Is An Exchange Traded Fund Verdict

In this article, we have attempted to explain, with examples and figures, what an exchange traded fund is. It is important to note that ETFs are safer financial instruments than most, and are also cheaper to trade. They are less volatile than assets such as equities or Forex. However, it is not guaranteed that ETFs are completely free from risk.

We've collected thousands of datapoints and written a guide to help you find the best What Is An Exchange Traded Fund for you. We hope that this information assists you in locating a reliable and reputable broker who meets your online trading requirements. We have compiled a list of what we consider the best Investment Platforms below.

Reputable What Is An Exchange Traded Fund Checklist

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Broker eToro IC Markets AvaTrade XTB Roboforex FP Markets Pepperstone Plus500 XM EasyMarkets Trading212
Rating
Regulation Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Central Bank of Ireland, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ASIC (406684), Financial Services Authority (FSA), South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Financial Stability Board (FSB), The Financial Services Agency (JAPAN FSA), Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Financial Regulatory Services Authority (FRSA), Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), Israel Securities Association (ISA), British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI), BVI (SIBA/L/13/1049) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), FCA number FRN 522157, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), CySEC Licence Number: 169/12, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, Belize International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) under license number IFSC/60/413/TS/19, Polish Securities and Exchange Commission (KPWiG), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC),Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), XTB AFRICA (PTY) LTD licensed to operate in South Africa Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA), Pepperstone Markets Limited is incorporated in The Bahamas (number 177174 B), Licensed by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) number SIA-F217 Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), Plus500CY Ltd authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14), Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), ASIC in Australia AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026 and Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa FSP #47546, Plus500SEY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039), Plus500SG Pte Ltd (UEN 201422211Z) holds a capital markets services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for dealing in capital markets products (License No. CMS100648-1), PLUS500AU (PTY) LTD is regulated by the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority), Plus500 adheres to MiFID rules International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Financial Supervision Commission (FSC)
Min Deposit 10 200 100 No minimum deposit 1 100 200 100 5 100 1
Funding
  • Bank transfer
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Used By 20,000,000+ 180,000+ 300,000+ 250,000+ 10,000+ 10,000+ 89,000+ 15,500+ 3,500,000+ 142,500+ 15,000,000+
Benefits
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
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  • Low min deposit
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  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
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  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows scalping
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  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
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  • Low min deposit
  • Guaranteed stop loss
  • Advanced Risk Management Tools
  • Allows scalping
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  • Low min deposit
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  • Allows scalping
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  • Low min deposit
  • Guaranteed stop loss
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit
  • Guaranteed stop loss
  • Offers Negative Balance Protection
Accounts
  • Demo account
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Platforms Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Mac Web Trader, MT4, MT5, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, Mobile Apps, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, MQL5 MT4, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, IRESS, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mac, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps MT4, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps
Support
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Risk Warning 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Losses can exceed deposits 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Losses can exceed deposits Losses can exceed deposits CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Your capital is at risk Your capital is at risk CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Demo eToro
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IC Markets
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XM
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Trading 212
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eToro Risk Disclosure

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.


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What Is An Exchange Traded Fund List

eToro
(4/5)
Min deposit : 10
Visit eToro Try a Demo Read review

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.

eToro was established in 2007 and is used by over 20000000+ traders. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. eToro offers Stocks, Commodities, Forex, CFDs, Social Trading, Indices, Cryptocurrency, Index Based Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). Cryptocurrency availability with eToro is subject to regulation. Buying and selling real cryptocurrency assets may not be available in your country through eToro. Please check the latest information made available on their website.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
IC Markets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 200
IC Markets was established in 2007 and is used by over 180000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits IC Markets offers Forex, CFDs, Spread Betting, Share dealing, Cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency availability with IC Markets is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Mac

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Services Authority (FSA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
AvaTrade
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
AvaTrade was established in 2006 and is used by over 300000+ traders. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider AvaTrade offers Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, Indices, Stocks, Bonds, Vanilla Options, ETFs, CFDs, Spread Betting, Social Trading . Cryptocurrency availability with AvaTrade is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, MT4, MT5, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, Mobile Apps, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, MQL5

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Central Bank of Ireland, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ASIC (406684), Financial Services Authority (FSA), South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Financial Stability Board (FSB), The Financial Services Agency (JAPAN FSA), Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Financial Regulatory Services Authority (FRSA), Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), Israel Securities Association (ISA), British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI), BVI (SIBA/L/13/1049)
XTB
(4/5)
Min deposit : 0
XTB was established in 2002 and is used by over 250000+ traders. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. XTB offers Forex, CFDs, Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency availability with XTB is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, Mirror Trader, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), FCA number FRN 522157, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), CySEC Licence Number: 169/12, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, Belize International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) under license number IFSC/60/413/TS/19, Polish Securities and Exchange Commission (KPWiG), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC),Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), XTB AFRICA (PTY) LTD licensed to operate in South Africa
Roboforex
(4/5)
Min deposit : 1
Roboforex was established in 2009 and is used by over 10000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits Roboforex offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
FP Markets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
FP Markets was established in 2005 and is used by over 10000+ traders. Losses can exceed deposits FP Markets offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, IRESS, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
Pepperstone
(4/5)
Min deposit : 200
Pepperstone was established in 2010 and is used by over 89000+ traders. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money Pepperstone offers Forex, CFDs, Social Trading.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, ZuluTrade, Web Trader, cTrader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA), Pepperstone Markets Limited is incorporated in The Bahamas (number 177174 B), Licensed by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) number SIA-F217
Plus500
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
Plus500 was established in 2008 and is used by over 15500+ traders. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Plus500 offers CFDs.


Plus500 offer a 100% Free and Unlimited Demo account No Deposit fees/Commissions No hidden fees Competitive fees Tight Spreads

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), Plus500CY Ltd authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14), Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), ASIC in Australia AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026 and Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa FSP #47546, Plus500SEY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039), Plus500SG Pte Ltd (UEN 201422211Z) holds a capital markets services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for dealing in capital markets products (License No. CMS100648-1), PLUS500AU (PTY) LTD is regulated by the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority), Plus500 adheres to MiFID rules
XM
(4/5)
Min deposit : 5
XM was established in 2009 and is used by over 3500000+ traders. Your capital is at risk XM offers Forex, CFDs.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, MT5, Mac, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
EasyMarkets
(4/5)
Min deposit : 100
easyMarkets was established in 2001 and is used by over 142500+ traders. Your capital is at risk easyMarkets offers CFD, Forex, Commodities, Indices, Shares, Crypto. Cryptocurrency availability with easyMarkets is subject to regulation.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

MT4, Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Trading212
(3/5)
Min deposit : 1
Trading 212 was established in 2006 and is used by over 15000000+ traders. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Trading 212 offers Stocks, Forex, Commodities, Indices.

Funding methods

Bank transfer Credit Card Paypal

Platforms

Web Trader, Tablet & Mobile apps

Customer support

Live chat Phone support Email support

Account Types

Micro account Standard account Islamic account VIP account
Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Financial Supervision Commission (FSC)

Learn more Learn more about eToro.
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
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67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.