What is an ETF?
An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a diversified collection of assets (like a mutual fund) that trades on an exchange (like a stock). ETFs are an easy-to-use, low cost and tax efficient way to
invest your money.
What are the benefits of ETFs?
iShares Core ETFs have outperformed more than 75% of their mutual fund peers on average over the past 10 years 1
typical mutual fund 2
average active mutual fund 3
Word on the street
We took to the streets of San Francisco and asked people, «What is an exchange traded fund?» In their words, here’s what they had to say.
Comparing ETFs and mutual funds
Many investors are familiar with mutual funds. How are ETFs similar?
And what makes them different?
Hover over the icons to learn more.
Learn more about the differences in investment strategy, fees,
How to use ETFs
By the numbers
The first ETF was introduced in 1993
iShares has been a leading ETF provider since 1997
ETFs are now a $3 trillion industry
iShares provides the widest array of ETFs, with 300+ offering
Not sure where to start? Here are a few easy ways to buy ETFs.
Explore our 300+ offerings to find ETFs that fit your investment strategy.
1 Morningstar, as of 12/31/2017. Post-tax comparison between the 3, 5 and 10 year returns at NAV of the iShares Core ETFs and the oldest share class of active open-end mutual funds within the same Morningstar categories as the iShares Core ETFs. Mutual funds are generally more tax inefficient than ETFs and, as a result, are typically more negatively impacted than ETFs when comparing performance based on post-tax returns rather than total returns. The number of ETFs and mutual funds used for each period varies based on the inception date of the iShares Core ETFs. iShares Core ETFs included in this comparison vary based on the time period analyzed: 3 year (18 Core ETFs existed for the full 3-year period beginning 1/1/15), 5 year (14 Core ETFs existed for the full 5-year period beginning 1/1/13), and 10 year (8 Core ETFs existed for the full 10-year period beginning 1/1/08). iShares Core ETFs outperformed their active mutual fund peers by 84% (1752/2085), 79% (1062/1348) and 89% (498/558) over the 3, 5 and 10 year periods ended 12/31/17, respectively. Performance was averaged for Morningstar categories containing more than one iShares fund, and may be different for other time periods. Returns are calculated after taxes on distributions, including capital gains and dividends, assuming the highest federal tax rate for each type of distribution in effect at the time of the distribution Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For more information on the differences between iShares ETFs and mutual funds, click here.
Carefully consider the Funds’ investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds’ prospectuses or, if available, the summary prospectuses, which may be obtained by visiting the iShares Fund and BlackRock Fund prospectus pages. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
Fixed income risks include interest-rate and credit risk. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in bond values. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the bond issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments.
International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks often are heightened for investments in emerging/ developing markets or in concentrations of single countries.
There is no guarantee that dividends will be paid.
Transactions in shares of ETFs will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. All regulated investment companies are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders.
Certain traditional mutual funds can also be tax efficient.
Investment comparisons are for illustrative purposes only. To better understand the similarities and differences between investments, including investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses, it is important to read the products’ prospectuses.
The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and are not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.
The Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, «BlackRock»).
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