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

Make room for ‘value’ in your ETF portfolio

Value investing is one of several investment styles that have over time performed better than the overall market. Other long-term styles with strong track records include small companies, low volatility stocks, and high-quality companies.
The problem for you as an investor is that the winning styles… Read More

Here’s your primer for precious-metal gains

Investor demand for gold is very strong right now, with consistent buying by central banks as well as exchange-traded funds. Silver has also moved lately, but platinum has lagged.
Those last two precious metals have proportionally larger industrial applications than gold (see graph), which strengthens their… Read More

Your metal ETF returns strengthen

A varied assortment of equity ETFs, as well as base metal producer ETFs, gave investors the biggest gains in September 2019. “Value” ETFs were also well represented at the top end of the leaderboard. The Alpha US Quant Value ETF (QVAL) jumped by 6% while the Vanguard Global Value… Read More

Ferrari’s a pricey add to your portfolio

The Ferrari motor car manufacturing business was started in 1929 by Enso Ferrari with the goal to build a car that people would dream of owning, but which only a few could ever afford. Ninety years later, the vision of the company (symbol RACE on… Read More

This ETF hands you the best of Italian firms

The Italian economy ranks among the biggest in the world but has offered investors very little growth for the past decade. High unemployment—especially among the country’s youth—as well as regional income disparities and high government debt are key problems.
Still the country is home to some… Read More

Value funds draw more investor money

ETFs remain popular investment vehicles for investors. In the U.S., total net inflows into ETFs amounted to $197 billion (for the year to the end of September). This was about the same as 2018, which saw record inflows. Canadian ETFs attracted net new money of… Read More

These value ETFs set you up for portfolio gains

As their name implies, value stocks trade lower than their fundamentals would suggest. Investors perceive them as undervalued with the potential to rise. Even so, it’s best for you to zero in on the shares of quality companies with a consistent history of sales and… Read More

Pass on this ETF: Teucrium Sugar Fund

Narrowly focused agricultural commodity ETFs can give you spectacular returns when markets rise. However, there are risks to match.
A good example is the TEUCRIUM SUGAR FUND $6.54 (New York symbol CANE), which uses futures contracts to invest in sugar. This fund has experienced high levels of volatility since its… Read More

Get ready for precious metals gains

Precious metals should let you profit over the next few years if inflation rises (a clear possibility), and gold, silver and platinum stocks attract new investor interest.
What’s more, if the world economy, particularly emerging economies, continues to expand, consumer gold purchases will rise as well… Read More

Benefit from Vietnam’s rise

VANECK VECTORS VIETNAM ETF $16.17 (New York symbol VNM; buy or sell through brokers) holds Vietnamese companies and foreign firms that get a significant share of their revenue from the Southeast Asian nation.

The ETF’s top holdings are Vinhomes (real estate), 7.9%; Vingroup (conglomerate), 7.5%; Vietnam… Read More

Tariffs slow China’s growth

SPDR S&P CHINA ETF $89.77 (New York Exchange symbol GXC; buy or sell through brokers; tracks the S&P China BMI Index. The fund includes all publicly traded Chinese stocks available to foreign investors.

Right now, the SPDR S&P China ETF holds 372 stocks. The fund… Read More

Low fees give these six ETFs a big edge

The six ETFs we update below mainly hold high-quality stocks that are widely traded on Canadian and U.S. exchanges. Each fund tracks the performance of a major stock market index. That’s different from ETFs focused on narrower indexes or themes such as cryptocurrencies or biotechnology.

Of… Read More

These ETFs aim for seasonal gains

Seasonal investment strategies study the historical performance of stocks, bonds and other asset classes during specific times of year. They then aim to benefit from those patterns. However, these strategies are based on the past and do not always work. Holding stocks with strong fundamentals—and… Read More

Pass on this ETF: AGFiQ US Market Neutral Momentum Fund

Momentum-based investing involves buying or selling stocks with rising or falling earnings and stock prices. It’s largely unconcerned with the absence of value markers like moderate p/e ratios or high dividend yields.
It’s a strategy that some investment managers, especially hedge fund, use to create and… Read More

Gold passes along price gains to precious metal ETFs

The price of gold has regularly hit multi-year highs since mid-May 2019. It’s not surprising then that investment flows into gold-linked ETFs are also rising rapidly.
Trade tensions between the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China, changes in monetary policy, looming… Read More

Low volatility ETFs look to cut investor risk

ETF managers employ various strategies to produce portfolios that have lower volatility, or risk, than the overall stock market. At the same time, they also aim to keep up with overall market gains despite the lower risk.
Below we analyze three ETFs with lower volatility portfolios… Read More

Low volatility funds attract buyers

Global ETF assets as of July 31, 2019, amounted to $5.7 trillion, spread across 7,900 ETFs; this was an increase of 19% compared to the end of 2018. These ETFs are listed on 72 exchanges in 58 countries.
Stock ETFs have attracted net-new inflows of… Read More

Exports decide this German ETF’s success

The German economy is still the largest in Europe and ranks among the top-five globally. However, in the near term, it faces challenges as its all-important export industry deals with the U.K.’s threat to leave the European Union without a trade deal. It also faces… Read More