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Criticism of ETF’s

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Black_NITE   Wednesday, 03/14/18 03:11:41 AM
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Criticism of ETF’s
John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, a leading issuer of index mutual funds (and, since Bogle's retirement, of ETFs), has argued that ETFs represent short-term speculation, that their trading expenses decrease returns to investors, and that most ETFs provide insufficient diversification. He concedes that a broadly diversified ETF that is held over time can be a good investment.
ETFs are dependent on the efficacy of the arbitrage mechanism in order for their share price to track net asset value. While the average deviation between the daily closing price and the daily NAV of ETFs that track domestic indices is generally less than 2%, the deviations may be more significant for ETFs that track certain foreign indices. The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2008, during a period of market turbulence, that some lightly traded ETFs frequently had deviations of 5% or more, exceeding 10% in a handful of cases, although even for these niche ETFs, the average deviation was only a little more than 1%. The trades with the greatest deviations tended to be made immediately after the market opened.
According to a study on ETF returns in 2009 by Morgan Stanley, ETFs missed in 2009 their targets by an average of 1.25 percentage points, a gap more than twice as wide as the 0.52-percentage-point average they posted in 2008. Part of this so-called tracking error is attributed to the proliferation of ETFs targeting exotic investments or areas where trading is less frequent, such as emerging-market stocks, future-contracts based commodity indices and junk bonds.[citation needed]
The tax advantages of ETFs are of no relevance for investors using tax-deferred accounts (or indeed, investors who are tax-exempt in the first place). However, the lower expense ratios are proving difficult for the proponents of traditional mutual funds to overcome.
In a survey of investment professionals, the most frequently cited disadvantage of ETFs was the unknown, untested indices used by many ETFs, followed by the overwhelming number of choices.


Some critics claim that ETFs can be, and have been, used to manipulate market prices, including having been used for short selling that has been asserted by some observers (including Jim Cramer of theStreet.com) to have contributed to the market collapse of 2008


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