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Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)


An ETF is an exchange-traded fund that replicates the performance of an underlying asset, such as a bond, index, commodity or basket of assets (e.g. an index fund). An ETF is not intended to outperform the market.

Physical ETFs
Physical ETFs replicate the target indices by purchasing the underlying securities that make up the index. There are two forms of replication:

(i) Firstly, holding 90% or more of the index.

(ii) Secondly, holding a representative sample of the index.

Synthetic ETFs
Synthetic ETFs track the performance of an index through derivatives. In this case, the intrinsic value of the ETF is not deducted from direct lines as in the case of physical ETFs but instead derives from a swap contract between the management company and a counterparty (often an investment bank). The counterparty is expected to provide the exact performance of the index that the ETF tracks.


  • ETFs replicate the performance of illiquid markets, for which direct investment is not possible or would generate high costs.
  • ETFs allow for very broad diversification by allowing the investor to hedge an entire market instead of selecting individual securities.
  • ETFs generally have lower fees than UCIs


  • No possibility of outperforming the reference index.
  • ETFs do not provide a stable and/or guaranteed income; income varies according to the performance of the reference index.
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