Investing has become very popular in recent years, because of the financial expectations of many people, it has become a popular topic when trying to generate income in other ways than getting an extra job. We can understand that there are many alternatives, from investing our capital in a savings fund that gives us annual interest rates, to investing in risky instruments such as derivatives or shares. But among the whole range, there are some that may seem strange to those just starting out in this world. In this case we will talk about ETFs, a very interesting instrument with many possibilities.

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs (an acronym for Exchange Traded Fund), are investment funds whose shares are traded on a stock exchange. ETFs have become widespread in recent decades.

Let's take a closer look at what an ETF trading platform in India is and how to invest in ETFs.

What is an ETF?

ETF stands for exchange traded fund. In many ways, an ETF is the same as a stock fund, except that ETF shares are traded and traded on an exchange. 

In simple terms, an ETF is a 'basket of stocks', that is, an investment fund that tracks index values and trades as one security. 

If an ETF wants to increase its capital, it does so by issuing new shares (often to a single large investor), just as we know it from listed companies. The fund follows movements in, for example, indices or currencies and therefore may increase or decrease in value.

An increase in the share price of an investment fund indicates its success and prospects. The funds themselves may also be involved in the purchase of shares and other listed assets.

This is the easiest way of investing widely in the cheapest index funds. Today, there are many exchange-traded funds that track the market index. This is often the easiest way to invest in an index fund.

ETFs have grown considerably in popularity over the past 30 years.

Today, virtually every stock index has an ETF fund that replicates its structure.

Exchange-traded funds are usually passive funds that track an index of stocks or bonds, but there are also active ETFs and ETFs that invest in other things like commodities, real estate, etc. You can even invest in debt ETFs.

An exchange-traded fund is a finished portfolio of assets that can replicate a particular stock index, or have an actual developed portfolio of stocks, or metals, for example, and other exchange-traded commodities.

Shares in exchange-traded funds are listed on the stock exchange like ordinary securities. The most accessible shares on the market are worth a few cents, whilst the most expensive ones are worth hundreds of dollars.

For those wishing to trade securities from different regions of the world, exchange-traded funds are a kind of indicator of the state of industry in leading countries from Asia to Austria and from Europe to emerging markets.

In the US in 2017, ETFs accounted for more than 30% of all equity trading, at least as measured by value. ETFs are popular because of the good opportunities to create great diversification and exposure to many different markets, combined with low administrative costs.

ETF trading platform in India
ETF trading platform in India

Types of ETFs

There are many different variations of ETFs. Let's look at the most common ones.

So, based on different criteria, a distinction is made between: 

  • Sector ETFs invest in specific sectors of the stock market, such as the financial or technology sectors. 
  • Bond ETFs invest in government bonds, corporate bonds and high-yield bonds.
  • Commodity ETFs invest in physical commodities and precious metals. Some funds have only one asset, while others track commodity indices and have a portfolio of commodities.
  • Multi-asset ETFs invest in several asset classes. These funds are often created under pension fund rules that restrict access to certain asset classes. 
  • Real estate ETFs invest in REITs (real estate investments) and other real estate-related securities.
  • International ETFs invest in equities from around the world. These funds can be further divided into developed and emerging markets, regardless of whether US equities are included.

The types of ETFs listed above make up the largest funds. The more specialised types of funds include the following:

  • Exchange-traded market value funds target companies of a certain size, from large companies to mid-sized, small and micro-cap companies. 
  • Industrial ETFs have a narrower focus than sector funds. Examples include biotechnology, cybersecurity and cannabis companies. 
  • Investment style ETFs track indices that select companies according to investment factors. These include growth, value, volatility and income. 
  • Currency ETFs invest in portfolios of currencies or in individual currencies. 
  • Leveraged ETFs increase the fund's exposure through the use of derivatives. These funds typically provide 2 or 3 times the fund's assets. This means that both positive and negative returns are amplified. 
  • Reverse ETFs are structured to generate positive returns when the index falls, but also generate negative returns when the index rises. They can be used to hedge a portfolio or to speculate on market declines.
Types of ETFs
Types of ETFs

How to invest in ETFs?

Some ETFs pay dividends to their owners and others reinvest the dividends the fund receives. This is one of the things you should research before choosing a quoted fund to invest in. 

In fact, buying an ETF online is not as difficult as many people think. In fact, it's quite simple, and that's one of the reasons why it has become so popular. Thanks to modern technology and the availability of the internet, this type of investing has become much more accessible. When buying ETFs online, find an online trading platform.

When choosing an online trading platform, it is important to consider factors such as reliability (availability of a brokerage license), ease of use, price per transaction and payment methods used. Of course, it's also important that the platform allows you to trade with ETFs - check which funds are available on the platform. Once you have found an online trading platform, you will need to create an account on the platform.

Register on the online platform

It only takes a few minutes to create an account on the platform. For your convenience, brokerage companies have simplified the registration on the platform to the entry of minimal data such as your username and email address. After a standard registration confirmation via an automatic link which the system will send to the specified email address, your account is ready to use.

Registration process
Registration process

Demo account

A good trading platform is necessarily supplied with a demo account. A demo account is a demo version of a real account, with which you can practice trading without the risk of losing money. The system will automatically credit your demo account with a dummy amount of $10000. You may operate with these funds as you wish, tracking the results and working out your future trading strategy. This is the same as a demo account, except that you will not be able to withdraw the funds as they are fictitious. This is a great way to learn how to trade if you're new to trading, or to hone your skills if you're an experienced trader. The platform will not charge you any commission for using a demo account.

Select an account
Select an account

How to fund your account?

To activate a real account you need to fund it with real funds. This is normally the minimum deposit you must make - in our case it is only $10. You can choose from several different payment methods, and on the major online trading platforms you can deposit via credit or debit card, and via well-known payment systems such as WebMoney, AdvCash, Skrill, Perfect money, Neteller. The money is credited to your account almost immediately, and you are ready to invest. In some cases it may take several working days from the moment you transfer the money to your account - the system will inform you through pop-ups about possible delays in transferring the money. 

Once you have deposited money in your account, you can start searching for ETFs and find what you want to invest in. 

Remember that there is always a risk associated with all investments, no matter how low they seem. So never invest more than you can potentially afford to lose. With this in mind, you can start investing and diversify your portfolio to spread the risk.

Account replenishment
Account replenishment

Advantages and disadvantages of investing in ETFs

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) have become popular with investors for a variety of reasons and are extremely popular investments for both active and passive investors. 

Here are some of the advantages of ETFs:

  • Diversification. ETFs provide access to a number of underlying instruments such as asset classes, commodities, stocks and bonds. Also, investors can trade in different markets at the same time. Activate risk management through diversification. For example, if the price of one underlying asset falls, the price of another underlying instrument may rise, balancing the two prices. Diversification also reduces the risk of loss. 
  • It can be bought and sold easily, so it is extremely liquid. 
  • More profitable than their mutual fund counterparts. 
  • They also offer low expense ratios and lower broker commissions compared to buying shares individually.
  • A convenient way to shop around. 
  • ETFs allow investors to use a wide range of investment securities without having to delve into the research, analysis and allocation of their investments. 
  • Ideal for new investors using a variety of trading and investment strategies. 

Although ETFs are very popular among many investors and offer a number of advantages, they do have some disadvantages and expose investors to a certain amount of risk. 

Investors should note the following disadvantages of ETFs: 

  • Low trading volumes (Lack of liquidity) The advantage of buying an ETF over certain capital, such as stocks comprising a particular company, is diminished when the relevant ETF experiences low trading volumes. In other words, an ETF that lacks liquidity means you won't be able to sell them.
  • An excessively wide spread between supply and demand can be extremely costly. Before deciding to invest in a particular ETF, consider the average trading volume and make sure it's floating. A reliable way to do this is to examine the bid-ask spreads and price movements of a particular ETF over a specific time period, such as a week or month.

How do I succeed in investing?

Investing is a way of thinking that can be learned, no matter what you invest in. It is therefore important to find good learning resources that allow you to invest wisely. On the platform you will find video tutorials that outline everything you need to know about investing in an accessible way. If you are new to investing, helpful tips are invaluable and you can find them here, so you get a good start on your investment adventure.

Investing is not as difficult as many people think. Online trading platforms have become much easier, and ETFs are a great financial tool for newcomers looking to start investing.

When it comes to international ETFs investing in a particular country, a country's fundamental economic issues such as economic health, currency strength and political stability are crucial. A useful rule of thumb in this regard is to know what a particular ETF is tracking and to understand the underlying risks associated with it. 

Current news on the platform
Current news on the platform

By monitoring current news, learning online lessons on the platform and from external sources, and practicing with a demo account, you can eventually choose the ETF that you find easy to work with and develop your own trading strategy. 
Open a demo account today and dive into the promising world of investing, more opportunities and good returns!

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