What are ETFs?

ETF is an acronym for exchange traded fund. These exchange traded funds are used to track indexes as closely as possible, since investors cannot actually buy an index outright.

Exchange traded funds trade on stock exchanges, just like stocks. Investors can buy them on margin, or sell them short. The best exchange-traded funds offer well-diversified, tax-efficient portfolios with exceptionally low management ETF fees. They are also very liquid.

Investors use ETFs in a variety of ways, and some investors work only with ETFs and no other type of investment in portfolio creation.

An amazing aspect of ETFs is their diversity. Some investors may create an entire portfolio solely from a few well-diversified ETFs.

ETFs trade on stock exchanges, just like stocks. That’s different from mutual funds, which you can only buy at the end of the day at a price that reflects the fund’s value at the close of trading.

Prices of ETFs are quoted in newspaper stock tables and online. You pay brokerage commissions to buy and sell them, but their low management fees give them a cost advantage over most mutual funds.

As well, shares are only added or removed when the underlying index changes. As a result of this low turnover, you won’t incur the regular capital gains taxes generated by the yearly distributions most conventional mutual funds pay out to unitholders.

ETFs have a place in every investor’s portfolio, at TSI Network we also recommend using our three-part Successful Investor strategy:

  1. Invest mainly in well-established companies;
  2. Spread your money out across most if not all of the five main economic sectors (Manufacturing & Industry; Resources & Commodities; the Consumer sector; Finance; Utilities);
  3. Downplay or avoid stocks in the broker/media limelight.

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ETFs Library Archives

Investors continue their march toward ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) have taken the investment world by storm.
In Canada, ETF assets under management have grown by 150% over the past five years, from $77 billion to $192 billion. At the same time, the number of ETFs has doubled. Robust growth was also evident… Read More

Don’t overlook the power of mid-cap stocks

Medium-sized companies are a bit like the proverbial middle child—they tend not to get as much attention from investors as the smallest or the biggest.
But this creates opportunities for investors who are prepared to add the best of those stocks—or the ETFs that hold them—to… Read More

Here’s where you saw strong gains

Overall, November delivered some significant gains for stock market investors, with the U.S. markets leading the way. While the iShares MSCI Canada Equity ETF (symbol EWC) gained 2.6% and the Vanguard Total World Stocks ETF (symbol VT), 3.7%, the Vanguard S&P 500 (symbol VOO) rose 4.6%.
Still, the main story for ETF… Read More

TD launches 10 new funds for ETF investors

TD Asset Management has added 10 new ETFs to its roster of funds. We highlight two of these ETFs for you below: Both aim to give investors broad international exposure.
The TD ACTIVE GLOBAL REAL ESTATE ETF (Toronto symbol TGRE) invests in real estate companies around the world. The… Read More

Your ETFs can lag their indexes

The broad Vietnamese stock market, as measured by the FTSE Vietnam All Share Index, has done very well over the longer term, gaining 71% over the five years ending October 31, 2019. By comparison, the VanEck Vietnam ETF lost 3.1% over the same period. This… Read More

Investors can share Vietnam’s trade-war gains

The Vietnamese stock market has done well over the past five years, but limitations on foreign investment in the country’s public companies have caused the VanEck Vietnam ETF to lag behind.
However, the fund is one of the only ways for investors to gain exposure to… Read More

Brace yourself for more ‘active ETFs’

Most ETFs now available to investors are passive funds that aim to track overall markets or other rules-based indexes. We prefer that strategy, which helps to keep the fees you pay low. However, some investors still prefer actively managed portfolios, where portfolio managers apply their… Read More

They give you low-fee access to top stocks

Fund management expenses (MERs) can eat up a substantial proportion of your investment returns over time. That’s one reason why ETFs have become very popular. But there’s a segment of those funds with even lower MERs. Below, we analyze three of those ETFs providing investors… Read More

Mid-cap ETFs aim to lift your gains

Many investors overlook mid-cap stocks, thinking that a combination of large- and small-cap stocks will provide their portfolios with all the diversification they really need. However, as a group, U.S. mid-cap stocks have often performed better than large caps and are generally less risky than… Read More

Copper stalled by China

GLOBAL X COPPER MINERS ETF $18.10, is a hold. The ETF (New York symbol COPX; buy or sell through brokers; aims to track the Solactive Global Copper Miners Index, which includes 30 global mining and exploration firms. It started up in April 2010.
Canadian firms make up 32.7% of… Read More

Keep holding China’s best

ISHARES CHINA LARGE-CAP ETF, $40.88, is a hold for safety-conscious investors. The ETF (New York symbol FXI; buy or sell through brokers) tracks the 50 largest, most-liquid Chinese stocks. It started up October 4, 2004, and investors are charged a high 0.74% MER. The units give you a 2.1%… Read More

Here are two foreign ETFs to lift your gains

If you’re looking for top holdings in an ETF, combined with exceptionally low fees, then Pennsylvania-based Vanguard Group is a top choice. Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. In all, it administers over $5.3 trillion U.S. for investors, spread across 415… Read More

Sustainability zeroes in on your top concerns

Sustainable Investing (“SI”) is the practice of including environmental, social and governance factors in investment decisions. It aims to combine lower risk holdings with improved portfolio returns, and to reflect sustainability in its investment strategy. At the same time, it uses traditional financial analysis and… Read More

Ethical investing isn’t a clear win for investors

Sustainable investing—or what used to be called ethical investing—offers some investors a lot of conceptual and emotional appeal. But does investing in those kind of stocks hurt your portfolio returns?
First, it needs to be said that investment practices and results vary widely among ETFs funds… Read More

Investors in shipping lead the pack

An varied group of stock ETFs led the performance tables in October 2019. Apart from ETFs investing in countries such as Russia, Brazil, Germany and Greece, the Invesco Shipping ETF (SEA) made it to the top end of the leaderboard. Investors in the iShares MSCI Russia ETF (ERUS) saw… Read More

New ETFs give you more sustainable choices

There were six ETFs focused on Sustainable Investing among the group of funds made available to investors under RBC’s new partnership with Blackrock.
Four of these funds are focused on stocks, while another two concentrate on fixed-income instruments. Here’s a look at the stock-market funds; they… Read More

Tourists power your Greek returns

Tourism will play a key role in any investment success you enjoy in Greece. The 33 million tourists who visited the country in 2018 spent more than 20 billion euros. That’s equal to roughly 10% of the total economy. The tourism and travel industries employ… Read More