There are currently 7 providers in Canada offering ETFs and more on the way. Since its journey began on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1990 for the first time, ETFs have become a global phenomenon and are trading all major global exchanges around the world. On one side ETF markets are exploding around the globe, but on the other side mutual fund markets are shrinking.
Savvy investors are switching from mutual funds to ETFs due to their much lower cost and the flexibility of trading on a stock exchange just like a stock. If there is a major distinctive difference you want to point out between mutual funds and ETfs – it would be that mutual funds are sold, not bought, while ETFs are bought, not sold.
Most investors hold mutual funds because they were sold to them by their advisors. Mutual funds pay upfront and ongoing commissions to advisors when they sell these to their clients. However, as ETFs trade on exchanges just like stocks, advisors don’t get any compensation for recommending them to their clients. So there is no point selling something that does not make money, although the costs to hold ETFs are ridiculously lower than mutual funds.
The main reason investors refrain from buying ETFs over mutual funds is because a trading or brokerage account is required to buy ETFs, but advisors can sell mutual funds by opening a simple investment account at the financial institution they are associated with – and no brokerage or trading account is required.
Opening a trading account and buying ETFs may require more work and research, but the costs you will be saving over a lifetime is worth the hassle. All the information you need is available online for free to learn more on ETFs and to become a better investor. Visit the A Dawn Journal ETF Section to learn more about ETFs and I discussed how to open a trading account in my own book Invest Now in simple words.
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