ETF stands for exchange-traded fund. This is actually the type of pooled investment security operating almost the same way as a mutual fund. Both an ETF and a mutual fund could track index, sector, commodity, and other assets. However, it is the same with the regular stock where it could be purchased or sold. So, in an ETF you could structure and track almost anything, it could be from the price of an individual commodity to the large securities collection. Surprisingly, you could also track the specific investment strategies.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF was the first ETF. As known it is the most active today. It is to note that the cost of it shares will shift during the trading day. This is because the market continues to buy and sell the shares. This is different from the mutual fund where the trading is not in the exchange and once per day after the market closes. Furthermore, they are are more affordable or costly-effective and more liquid than many others.
An ETF is this type of fund owning multiple underlying assets than owning just one like regular stocks. Underlying assets here mean the financial asset where the derivative price occurred like options. Due to the multiple assets in an ETF, there is a popular term called diversification. Diversification in an ETF is a risk management strategy mixing a variety of investments in a portfolio.
This becomes the reason why the it owns many types of investments. This covers stocks, commodities, bonds, and many other types of investments. It alone can represent hundreds or thousands of stocks across various industries. But it relies on what industry sector. Some funds applied to U.S. offerings only. Meanwhile, others own a larger global outlook like banking-focused ETFs containing a variety of stocks across industrial sectors.