Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs)

An exchange traded fund (ETF), sits on the passive side of the ‘active vs passive debate’ so is in many ways the opposite to a mutual fund from that sense. There are many that believe that, due to their low costs, ETFs will always outperform their actively managed mutual fund competitors.

An ETF is a collection of securities, such as stocks, that tracks an underlying index. The best-known example is the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500 Index. ETFs can contain many types of investments, including stocks, commodities, bonds, or a mixture of investment types. They have an associated price that allows them to be easily bought and sold.


  • Access to many stocks across various industries
  • Low expense ratios and fewer broker commissions.
  • Risk management through diversification
  • ETFs exist that focus on targeted industries


  • Active-managed ETFs have higher fees
  • Single industry focus ETFs limit diversification
  • Lack of liquidity hinders transactions

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