Both ETFs and mutual funds provide the opportunity for exposure to a range of different types of markets and asset classes. They also provide greater diversification than is available with a single bond or stock, and if you combine multiple asset classes, you can help to create a diversified portfolio.
Both are seemingly similar because they represent managed pools or baskets of individual securities, but they do have some distinctions. The first of these is how they are traded. Mutual Fund orders are executed only once each day, and every investor on the same day will get that same price. ETFs, however, are sold on a stock exchange and experience price changes throughout the day. For this reason, prices may differ throughout the day based on what other investors paid. Another difference comes in typical management.
Mutual funds come in both index and active varieties, but are most frequently managed on an active basis by fund managers. Many ETFs are passive investments associated with a particular index’s performance. However, they can be actively managed as well. When it comes to costs, mutual funds can be purchased without having to pay trading commissions, but may also carry additional expenses and fees. ETFs, however, have explicit and implicit costs. When you’re thinking about reevaluating your investment portfolio and deciding on your next steps, set aside a time to meet with a qualified and an experienced financial team.