Why are ETFs so much cheaper than mutual funds?
The administrative costs of managing ETFs are commonly lower than those for mutual funds. ETFs keep their administrative and operational expenses down through market-based trading. Because ETFs are bought and sold on the open market, the sale of shares from one investor to another does not affect the fund.
ETFs and index mutual funds tend to be generally more tax efficient than actively managed funds. And, in general, ETFs tend to be more tax efficient than index mutual funds. You want niche exposure. Specific ETFs focused on particular industries or commodities can give you exposure to market niches.
ETFs typically have lower expense ratios than mutual funds because they offer minimal shareholder services. Though mutual funds may be slightly more costly, fund managers provide support services.
Limited Capital Gains Tax
As passively managed portfolios, ETFs (and index mutual funds) tend to realize fewer capital gains than actively managed mutual funds. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are required to distribute capital gains to shareholders if the manager sells securities for a profit.
Mutual funds are usually actively managed, although passively-managed index funds have become more popular. ETFs are usually passively managed and track a market index or sector sub-index. ETFs can be bought and sold just like stocks, while mutual funds can only be purchased at the end of each trading day.
ETFs are subject to market fluctuation and the risks of their underlying investments. ETFs are subject to management fees and other expenses.
In terms of safety, neither the mutual fund nor the ETF is safer than the other due to its structure. Safety is determined by what the fund itself owns. Stocks are usually riskier than bonds, and corporate bonds come with somewhat more risk than U.S. government bonds.
However, there are disadvantages of ETFs. They come with fees, can stray from the value of their underlying asset, and (like any investment) come with risks.
The choice comes down to what you value most. If you prefer the flexibility of trading intraday and favor lower expense ratios in most instances, go with ETFs. If you worry about the impact of commissions and spreads, go with mutual funds.
How are ETFs and mutual funds different? How are they managed? While they can be actively or passively managed by fund managers, most ETFs are passive investments pegged to the performance of a particular index. Mutual funds come in both active and indexed varieties, but most are actively managed.
Why are ETFs less expensive than mutual funds?
That's because the commission that brokers receive for buying ETFs is seldom as hefty as the load. ETFs don't often have large fees that are associated with some mutual funds. But because ETFs are traded like stocks, you typically pay a commission to buy and sell them.
With a mutual fund, you buy and sell based on dollars, not market price or shares. And you can specify any dollar amount you want—down to the penny or as a nice round figure, like $3,000. With an ETF, you buy and sell based on market price—and you can only trade full shares.
For most ETFs, selling after less than a year is taxed as a short-term capital gain. ETFs held for longer than a year are taxed as long-term gains. If you sell an ETF, and buy the same (or a substantially similar) ETF after less than 30 days, you may be subject to the wash sale rule.
ETFs can offer lower operating costs than traditional open-end funds, flexible trading, greater transparency, and better tax efficiency in taxable accounts. There are drawbacks, however, including trading costs and learning complexities of the product.
ETFs have lower costs on average than passively managed mutual funds and don't charge 12b-1 fees. The expense ratio is the cost of the mutual fund, including any management fees, fees for expenses, and 12b-1 fees, and expressed as a percentage of the total assets under management.
|Assets under management
|Invesco QQQ Trust (ticker: QQQ)
|VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH)
|Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY)
|Global X Uranium ETF (URA)
Like any business, even low-cost ETFs need to generate revenue to cover their costs. Like any business, even low-cost ETFs need to generate revenue to cover their costs. Plenty of ETFs fail to garner the assets necessary to cover these costs and, consequently, ETF closures happen regularly.
Stock-picking offers an advantage over exchange-traded funds (ETFs) when there is a wide dispersion of returns from the mean. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer advantages over stocks when the return from stocks in the sector has a narrow dispersion around the mean.
Bottom line. ETFs make a great pick for many investors who are starting out as well as for those who simply don't want to do all the legwork required to own individual stocks. Though it's possible to find the big winners among individual stocks, you have strong odds of doing well consistently with ETFs.
We conclude that in such a situation, an investor in a 2x leveraged ETF might not be doomed to eventual ruin, but funds invested in a 3x ETF will almost certainly approach a value of zero over time.
What happens to my ETF if Vanguard fails?
If the company goes bust, the fund itself would be either sold, transferred to another management company or the proceeds returned to investors.
Interest rate changes are the primary culprit when bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs) lose value. As interest rates rise, the prices of existing bonds fall, which impacts the value of the ETFs holding these assets.
These ETFs amplify market movements and can lead to substantial losses if they do not perform as expected. In short, they are riskier and may not be suitable for long-term investors. Many of the risks listed above can be amplified by leveraged and inverse ETFs.
Yes, if you're using leverage or trading on margin, you can lose more than you invest in ETFs. Otherwise, in a standard investment without leverage, your losses are limited to the amount you've invested. Can you lose all your money from investing in ETFs even if you don't sell your position? No.
ETFs can be safe investments if used correctly, offering diversification and flexibility. Indexed ETFs, tracking specific indexes like the S&P 500, are generally safe and tend to gain value over time. Leveraged ETFs can be used to amplify returns, but they can be riskier due to increased volatility.