ETF stands for "exchange traded fund." In other words, it is an investment fund, similar to a mutual fund, that trades on an exchange (such as the New York Stock Exchange) just like a stock.
And ETFs are not new. They've been around for over 20 years, and iShares has been in the business for more than a decade. ETF investment has grown to nearly $3 trillion around the globe as all types of investors see the potential benefits of holding these funds.
Depending on your age, investment experience, risk tolerance or level of wealth, if you do your homework to find the right ETFs for your portfolio, they may help you reach your goals in several ways:
A common way that investors use ETFs is in the core of their portfolios. ETFs are an easy way to get instant diversification or to invest broadly over a specific market segment, such as value companies, Europe or short-term bonds. And when you’re in it for the long term, the lower costs can make a big difference toward the overall growth of your investments.
See how you can build the foundation of your portfolio with iShares Core ETFs.
Data is as of December 30, 2015 for Europe and December 31, 2015 for the US, Canada, Latin America, and some Asia ETPs. Global ETP flows and assets are sourced using shares outstanding and net asset values from Bloomberg, as well as BlackRock internal sources, for the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and some ETPs in Asia. For Middle East and Africa, assets and net flows data is not available. Inflows for years prior to 2010 are sourced from Strategic Insights Simfund. Asset classifications are assigned by BlackRock based on product definitions from provider websites and product prospectuses. Other static product information is obtained from provider websites, product prospectuses, provider press releases, and provider surveys.