Exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been one of the bright spots in U.S. markets over the past few years—their assets have grown at almost 30% a year since 2005 and now total well over $1 trillion. In its most basic form, an ETF is an open-end fund (typically, tracking an index) that trades on an exchange. It has a unique creation and redemption process for primary transactions and provides daily transparency of holdings. Introduced in the U.S. 18 years ago, ETFs have been steadily ...

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