INSIGHTS & STRATEGIES

WisdomTree Blog

On Monday, May 13, 2019, U.S. markets had their second-worst trading day of the year. Michael Barrer answers the question many investors ask during times of stress: “What happens to ETF spreads?” 

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We have long written about the best practices for switch trades when it comes to buying and selling two ETFs, but what about when switching from mutual funds to ETFs and vice versa?

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ETFs are built on a backbone of transparency, while mutual funds are opaque in nature. And although mutual funds trade at NAV, it doesn’t mean the execution cost is free. Michael Barrer explains.

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August 24, 2015 marked an influential day in the marketplace when we awoke to extremely volatile global markets. Although not the cause of the issues on 8/24, many ETFs were affected by a collision between market volatility and market structure. One of the key factors in why market participants had difficulty pricing ETFs during the opening minutes of 8/24 centered on a little-known and antiquated rule by the NYSE, called Rule 48. 

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Fixed income ETFs provide the investing world with transparency in an otherwise opaque asset class. However, because of the over-the-counter nature of the fixed income market and the fact that ETFs with fixed income underlying securities were adopted later than their equity-based relatives, there are still myths around the trading and liquidity profiles of these funds.

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When I see headlines along the lines of “Fixed income exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are not liquid and pose a risk to the system!” I can’t help but think, Stop the madness! Fixed income ETFs can actually add liquidity to the overall ecosystem and could potentially protect investors better than traditional investment structures. 

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