Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

ETFs are investment baskets like, providing ordinary persons with a chance to invest in different things such as shares, bonds or commodities. They are traded on stock markets the same way individual stocks are traded which makes buying and selling easy. The ETFs have an incredible background that can be traced back to their inception in the early 1990s. From here on they have been rapidly gaining popularity hence becoming preferred by many both new and experienced investors. This article will look at what ETFs are, how they work, their advantages, and how you can invest in it to build a diversified portfolio that could possibly grow your wealth.

What is ETF?

Investment funds referred to as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are traded on stock exchanges just like individual shares or stocks. They are purposely designed to mirror the performance and behavior of such indexes as well as other assets including commodities, bonds, and baskets of assets. In this case, buying every individual security is not necessary because investors can acquire a portfolio that has been diversified with various asset classes by an ETF. Other than being available at lower prices relative to other types of investments, ETFs also offer flexibility and transparency. Because they trade like regular securities during market hours by being bought and sold at current prices, they have become popular with individual and even institutional buyers alike.


How Do ETFs Work?

ETFs, or Exchange-Traded Funds usually function by the fund provider owning the underlying assets, which are then utilized to establish a fund that mirrors the performance of the assets, offering shares in the fund to investors. While shareholders possess a portion of an ETF, they do not directly own its assets. Investors participating in an ETF tied to a stock index may receive consolidated dividends from the constituent companies within that index. The mechanism of ETFs involves several steps: first, various asset classes like stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies are grouped into a pool, each assigned a unique ticker symbol. Investors can then purchase shares in this diversified basket, akin to buying stock in a company. These shares are traded throughout the day on an exchange, similar to any other stock, facilitating liquidity and flexibility for investors.

Benefits of Investing in ETFs


Exchange Traded Fund investments are diversified by spreading the investment risk across multiple securities within a fund. In other words, ETFs are able to mitigate against volatility in any one security or industry by holding a variety of assets that could include stocks, bonds and commodities. Consequently, this diversification serves as a shock absorber against portfolio wide losses resulting from poor performance by specific assets. This means that investors can have a well-rounded and steady way of investing while they strive to meet their monetary objectives.

Low Expense Ratios

Low expense ratios are usually found with ETFs as opposed to actively managed mutual funds. These reduced costs represent savings that accrue to investors, thus enabling them to capture more of their investment profits. While forking out lower fees that come along with mutual funds, the investors can realize comparable or better investment performance by handling such expenditures downwards. This cost-effective nature makes ETFs an appealing choice for investors who intend to optimize their long-term yield on investments.


ETFs are good in the sense that they are highly liquid. They trade on stock exchanges like stocks. This means that investors can buy and sell ETF shares at market prices during the day. With such a capacity for fast and easy trading of ETFs, these give investors an edge in terms of flexibility and reachability. Unlike mutual funds where prices are determined just once at the end of a trading day, ETFs enable investors to respond immediately to market shifts. As such, they facilitate quick trade executions that help one manage his portfolio on a real time basis.

Tax Efficiency

Investors are subject to fewer tax liabilities due to the structure of ETFs. This is because they minimize capital gains distributions by engaging “in-kind” creation and redemption processes. Normally, investors do not receive money for the sale of ETF shares but securities which helps avoid triggering taxes. Compared to actively managed mutual funds, this also suggests that the ETF's portfolio turnover is relatively lower, which in turn minimizes the chances of generating taxable capital gains. All this makes sense in terms of tax efficiency which means that it ensures greater retained profits for investors.


One way in which exchange traded funds provide transparency is through revealing their holdings every day. This clarity allows the investors to make informed decisions based on those underlying securities.  The risk exposure of the fund can be judged; investment goals can be checked against it for concord and repetition with current positions. This increases the expectations of investors, builds faith in such kinds of investment vehicles while enhancing sound portfolio management techniques.

What to Expect from ETFs

  • Intraday Pricing:
    In contrast to traditional mutual funds whose prices are determined at the end of the trading day, ETFs always trade all through the day at market prices. This allows investors to react to market news and events in real time.
  • Accessibility:
    On top of giving access to markets and asset classes that may be inaccessible or expensive to reach directly, ETFs can be purchased like individual stocks. Through these products one can choose an exposure to international markets, specific sectors or even commodities without buying shares in single companies for instance.
  • Dividends:
    Dividends received from underlying securities held within a fund are usually distributed periodically by ETF’s as dividends. An investor might choose either reinvesting these dividends or taking them as cash.
  • Rebalancing:
    Periodically rebalance their holdings with respect to the index’s composition is done by some ETFs that track an index for purposes of maintaining alignment with the index’s composition. This ensures that the strategy continues keeping up with what it was intended for and how it should perform relative to the benchmark.
  • ETFs’ Creation/Redemption Process:
    Authorized Participants play a role in the special creation and redemption process of ETFs. They can create or redeem shares of an ETF by just exchanging a basket of the underlying securities with the ETF issuer. This process helps keep the market price close to the net asset value (NAV) of an ETF.
  • Expense Ratios:
    It is important to consider the specific expense ratio for each ETF while ETFs generally have lower expense ratios compared to actively managed mutual funds. Even within the universe of exchange-traded funds, costs can vary, so investors should analyze fees relative to fund objectives as well as performance capability.
  • Market Impact:
    The trading activity on EFTs has potential effect on their underlying securities especially if it involves highly traded EFTs or during times of market distress- a phenomenon known as “ETF liquidity spillover” that could cause increased volatility or distortions in prices of underling securities.
  • Regulatory Considerations:
    In United States, ETFs are regulated investment products and entities such as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exercise oversight over them. Investors need to understand how regulation affects their investment decisions and be familiar with regulatory framework governing these funds.

Types of ETFs

ETFs are bundles of trading stock funds that are comparable to individual stocks, offering investors a way to purchase and sell a basket of assets without having to originate each part. ETFs can be defined into various types based on the following:

  • Equity ETFs:
    These funds replicate index or sector, like NIFTY
  • Fixed Income (Bond) ETFs:
    hese funds provide exposure to debentures and government bonds.
  • Commodity ETFs:
    These have been designed to track the price of particular commodities.
  • Currency ETFs:
    These are foreign currency investment types.
  • Multi-Asset ETFs:
    They invest in diversified portfolios consisting of assets.
  • Alternatives ETFs:
    They are not your traditional mutual funds.
  • Sustainable ETFs:
    There is a focus on ESG principles here.

Purpose of ETFs

Investors uses Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for various reasons. Surely it is a way of achieving diversification that involves holding multiple securities which spreads risks across different assets. ETFs are good sources of diversification in different asset such as equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities & alternatives which provide the opportunity to invest into markets not usually accessible. In addition to this, ETFs have low expense ratios compared to traditional mutual funds thus making them more favorable choices for investors who are conscious about cost. Investors are more interested in ETFs which make them have a high liquidity, their liquidity allows investors to buy & sell shares during the trading day, giving them some relief in terms of portfolio management techniques. In a nutshell, ETFs offers investors to gain profits with low to negligible risk.

How to Invest in an ETF?

The few steps for investing in an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) include the following:


Open an Investment Account

You cannot directly purchase ETFs for the stock market, one needs to open a brokerage account either with an internet broker or a Robo-advisor.

qqq stock

Research ETFs to Buy

An ETF can be structured to track anything like an index such as NIFTY 50, a sector (like NIFTY Pharma), or even a commodity like gold. You will have to conduct some research and select ETFs that suit your style of investment, likings, risk aversion level and goals.

gold etf

Purchase Your Chosen ETFs

The stock exchanges have listings of the ETFs. One can invest in them or trade them through their brokers. Find out how many shares you are going to buy and place your order.

spy stock

Set Up a Regular Investing Schedule

By regularly investing in your selected type of new funds, you shall be able to exploit dollar-cost averaging.

Risks of Investing in ETFs

Investment in ETFs is associated with its own risks, which investors must know before allocating their funds respectively. The following are among the most significant risks of ETF investments:

  • Market Risk :
    ETFs market risk is based on the fact that they can be affected by changes in prices of underlying assets. Changes in economics, world politics or market mood can affect ETF performance. Even though their purpose is to copy indices, ETFs are not safeguarded against trading volatility which may result in a loss of money for both investors and brokers as well. Thus, it is important to have knowledge about market situations and watch over them because overall market changes may significantly impact ETF costs. Diversification as well as focusing on long-term investments can reduce the damage caused by market risks on an ETF portfolio.
  • Tracking Error :
    The divergence in performance of an ETF and its underlying assets or index is called tracking error. These differences can arise from various aspects including management fees, transaction costs, and incomplete replication of the index. However, tracking errors may crop up over time even though ETFs are designed to mirror their benchmarks. Traders should follow up on tracking faults as it helps them to know whether there are any changes in the intended index by the higher tracking discrepancies which could cause gaps between anticipated returns.
  • Liquidity Risk :
    The risk of liquidity in ETFs means the possibility that it might be hard to buy or sell shares at desired prices, especially at times when markets are unstable or volumes traded are low. This can lead to wider bid-ask spreads and price discrepancies if the underlying assets of an ETF have limited trading activity. There may be difficulties in executing trades quickly or at good pricing terms for investors who may experience loss or miss out on chances. Evaluating liquidity of an ETF for purposes of managing this risk is critical.
  • Sector Concentration Risk :
    Sector Concentration Risk occurs when ETFs focus on particular industries or sectors. In doing so, these ETFs are prone to market changes within such industries due to consumer demand fluctuations, regulatory shifts and technological advances. For example, if the technology sector experiences any hick-ups, this can prove costly to a technology-focused ETF. Due to their concentrated sector exposure, investors in such ETFs stand a higher chance of losing than gaining from a poorly performing sector or one that is struggling with challenges. Diversification across industries can mitigate this risk.


Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is a great investing tool for investors, which offers a wide range of benefits such as diversification, low expense ratios, liquidity, tax efficiency, and transparency. It usually mirrors the ability and the performance of various asset classes and provide accessibility to previously inaccessible markets, ETFs have become widely popular among investors. However, investors must remain aware of associated risks with the ETFs such as market volatility, tracking error, sometimes liquidity challenges, and sector concentration. Despite having these risks, ETFs offer a convenient and efficient means of diversifying investments, managing risk, and pursuing long-term financial objectives, making them a valuable component of any investment portfolio. The availability of thousands of choices has revolutionized the nature of investing by opening up access to different asset classes and strategies. Educate yourself and be aware yourself with the financial markets and how to easily invest in it. Bigul offer you wide platform to learn and earn, all of just free of cost, we offer an easy-to-use stock market learning platform.

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Discover all you need to know effortlessly with our frequently asked questions—your go-to resource for answers.

An ETF also known as Exchange Traded Fund is a kind of investment fund that holds multiple assets like bonds, stocks or commodities. They are traded on stock exchanges to enable investors buy and sell shares all through the day.

Unlike mutual funds which are priced once per day at closing market prices, ETFs trade on exchanges like normal stocks, their prices changing throughout the day even as they pool investor’s money to buy a diverse range of assets.

Not at all. This type of fund is suitable for all kinds of traders ranging from fresh starters to experts. It provides simple means through which you can diversify your investments without requiring huge amounts to kick-off with.

Certainly yes. A lot of EFTs give dividends to their owners. Such dividends are made based on the dividends received from holdings such as underlying bonds or stocks owned by an EFT. It is either being returned back into the portfolio or you can take it out as cash if desired.

The correct choice depends on one’s risk tolerance level as well as their investment goals and target asset classes. Such aspects include expense ratios, liquidity and underlying assets among others. Thus, understanding these factors will help you determine which products suit your needs best through informed decision making.

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