• Index Investing

    How to work out what kind of investor you are - and get the right investments for you

    Not all investors are the same - we have different goals, time frames, interests and appetites for risk.Some want to be engaged and cherry-pick shares, others prefer fund managers to do the legwork and aim to find the best ones around.Then there are those who like to invest 'passively' or use an online service that picks a portfolio for them.But what kind of investor are you?  Working out the type of investor you are is key to constructing the right portfolio for youThis can be a difficult question to answer but it requires looking at either before you make your ...

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  • Index Investing

    Up in smoke! New funds look to help investors profit from cannabis liberalisation in the US

    There is pretty much an ETF for everything, no matter how esoteric the investment may seem - or whether it may go up in smoke.You can now invest passively in a basket of marijuana-related stocks through a pair of exchange traded funds cooked up in North America to profit from the liberalisation of the drug in a number of US states - most recently in California.But are marijuana ETFs likely to result in investment highs? We take a look. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest and the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index are essentially betting on further liberalisation of marijuana, with Canada ...

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  • Index Investing

    Bond ETFs are gaining popularity - but should you invest? What you need to know about fixed income index funds

    Funds invested in exchange traded funds rocketed to a record 3.1trillion at the end of the first half of this year - propelled by a rise in popularity of bond ETFs.The amount invested in these products, also referred to as fixed income ETFs, rose 19 per cent to 62billion by the end of June - a year-on-year uplift of 10billion.This brings the total amount of money in the investment instrument to 525billion, according investment research firm ETFGI. The assets in ETFs reached a record high by the end of the first of this year - propelled, in part, by a ...

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  • Index Investing

    How to invest in 24 of the world's most in-demand commodities in one go: New ETF tracks precious metals to cattle

    Ever wanted to invest in live cattle, coffee and gold in the same place? The chance to do that - and invest in another 21 of the world's most in-demand commodities - is being offered by a new iShares ETF.Fund giant BlackRock's iShares Diversified Commodity Swap UCITS ETF, aims to invest in commodities that have a wide effect on the global economy.It will follow the Bloomberg Commodity Total return Index, which represents energy, agriculture, industrial metals, precious metals and livestock sectors and is designed to deliver a broad exposure with no single commodity or sector dominating. The iShares ETF will ...

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  • Index Investing

    Investors are piling into smart beta ETFs, but what do they do and are they really that clever?

    Not all funds that track a market index like the FTSE 100 are made the same.There are those that - for want of a better phrase - blindly follow an index and therefore, supposedly, generate near identical returns.But there are also some that seek to exploit inefficiencies in the market and root out golden nugget opportunities to enhance returns versus traditional index funds. These are the so-called smart beta ETFs. Smart beta is essentially a halfway house between active management and passive investing as the strategy follows a bench market but has an element of stock selectionThe term smart beta ...

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  • Index Investing

    Want to buy 'safe' bonds but don't know where to start? Six of the best ETFs to invest in government debt

    The art of portfolio building involves mixing assets to deliver the right blend for your investment outlook - with the key ingredients being shares and bonds.The shares, also known as equities, part of a portfolio is typically considered the riskier element designed to provide the growth, while bonds are there for income and security - and the safest are considered to be highly-rated government bonds.Fortunately, for British investors, UK Government bonds - or gilts as they are known - are considered among the world's safest to invest in, but how do you invest in them or other highly-rated bonds around ...

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  • Index Investing

    I want to invest around the world simply and cheaply, but what is actually in a global ETF?

    I want to invest in shares around the world cheaply and simply and have been told that a broad low-cost global ETF is the best way to do this?I ve had a look and noticed a number of different ones available. Do they invest in the same shares, or do they do different things? What exactly is in a global equity ETF? Things like the geographical spread and the assets held within a global ETF are dictated by the index the product tracksMyron Jobson, of This is Money, replies: There is no such thing as guaranteed growth when it comes ...

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  • Index Investing

    It s not just about tracking the market How to use ETFs to invest in big themes and future growth

    Exchange traded funds have become a valuable tool in an investor s armoury when seeking to invest at a lower cost than an active fund.But as well as providing exposure to core markets, ETFs now offer the opportunity to invest in social, political and economic themes such as ageing populations or digitalisation. Here is how you could invest in big ideas with ETFs. Robotics, automation and artificial intelligence are expected to bring about big changes in years to come and thematic ETFs can be used to target the area as an investmentWhy ETFs?ETFs have become popular for investors looking to ...

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  • Index Investing

    I want to invest my Isa as soon as possible but how do I find the right cheap index tracker funds?

    I want to start investing my new Isa allowance as soon as possible and have decided that I d like to invest in an index fund. There seem to be hundreds of different options and I m not sure where to start.Do you have any recommendations? Investing in index funds can be a low-cost way to build a portfolio and grow your wealth, but how do you find the right ETFsThis is Money replies: Index funds are ideal for those who want to invest but don't want the hassle of picking shares and want to avoid the often hefty costs ...

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  • Index Investing

    New to Isa investing? Four things you need to know before you start

    Interest rates have languished at historical lows for the best part of a decade and now even the best five-year fixed rate savings account pays just 2.25 per cent.And there s more bad news. Inflation is now above that, recorded at 2.3 per cent in February, and the Bank of England forecasts it will hit 2.7 per cent in 2017. This means that the value of savings held in cash is being eroded.Investing provides the opportunity to earn above inflation returns and if you do this in an Isa, you can protect those returns from tax.We've put together four tips ...

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  • Index Investing

    World's biggest fund manager Blackrock reveals it's cutting back on human stock pickers in favour of computers

    The world's biggest fund manager Blackrock has announced it is cutting back on human stock pickers in favour of a 'quantitative' approach based on computer models.The US firm, which manages the small matter of $5.1 trillion on behalf of its clients, announced that it is carrying out an overhaul of its active equities offering.Of that huge total asset figure $275.1 billion is in active equities funds, making it a relatively small part of its overall business. Blackrock owns index investing giant brand iShares. Blackrock chairman and CEO Laurence Fink says his firm is laying the foundation for 'the future of ...

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  • Index Investing

    I want to start investing, how can I use ETFs to build a simple portfolio?

    I have built up quite a large pot in cash savings accounts and would like to start investing instead, ideally in a simple cheap way.The idea of doing it with index funds appeals but how do I go about creating a simple well-balanced selection of investments? If you are looking to grow your wealth then investing in a portfolio of ETFs could workDo you have too much cash?This is Money replies: A rainy day fund for life s emergencies should always be held in cash, as should any money needed in the short term. If you invest these funds there ...

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  • Index Investing

    Investors in ETFs see their wealth eroded by excessive trading and tracker funds earn better returns, says Vanguard founder

    Jack Bogle: 'Higher trading activity takes its toll on investor wealth'Investing guru Jack Bogle, founder of US tracker fund giant Vanguard, has sounded a warning about the 'sheer size and fragility in times of market stress' of the exchange-traded funds industry.Speaking to the Financial Times, he claimed it was high time for politicians and the industry to 're-examine the entire ETF ecosystem'. Excessive trading of ETFs is taking a toll on investor wealth, with anecdotal evidence from Vanguard performance data showing returns were trailing those from traditional tracker funds, Bogle told FT journalist John Authers. Bogle has been sceptical ...

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  • Index Investing

    Where are investors buying ETFs? Top destinations for index investing revealed... and the area being ditched

    ETFs enjoyed record inflows in the first nine months of the year, as investors flocked to low-cost index tracker products. And despite worries over the forthcoming election, this was dominated by large flows to US equities, as improving economic data in the country drew investors to the country.Emerging markets, Japan and fixed income ETFs also saw strong interest from investors. But not every region fared so well, as Europe was shunned by index investors who pulled money from the region. Adrift? European equity ETFs saw outflows as the region faces political and monetary troublesGlobally, ETFs - also known as exchange ...

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