What are ETFs? Exchange-traded funds explained

Nicole Sara Sivens
November 29, 2018
3 min read
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What is an ETF? Great question!

ETF stands for an exchange-traded fund and they’ve been around since 1993. They were designed specifically for individual investors and are traded on the market like stocks – they even have ticker symbols.

They’re super liquid, which means that you may access the money quickly and easily. ETFs include a little bit of everything: Stocks, bonds, gold, foreign currencies, even things like oil and sugar.

All of those assets are pooled and then divided into shares, which are then divided among the investors. Unlike stocks, the number of shares goes up and down every day because new assets are being added and sold off all the time.

Investing in them is easy because you can do it at any time. Sign up through your brokerage account and check out all the options.

There are more than 5,000 ETFs offered by an ever-growing number of financial institutions.

Make sure to keep an eye on the fees because they can be pretty steep and are mostly out of your control. Sound like too much to get into right now? There are other options out there with less work involved.

Platforms like Swell make it easy to invest in the exact companies and industries you want by offering thematic portfolios and more diversified options like the Impact 400.

Sign up with the promo code Q&A50 and get a $50 bonus in your account.

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