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What is an
"exchange-traded fund"?

An ETF is a type of security that tracks an index, a commodity, bonds, or a group of assets. There are thousands of ETF options, from traditional investments to alternative assets like commodities and currencies. An ETF trades similarly to a stock on an exchange, so ETF share prices go up and down throughout the day, as they are bought and sold.

Three fourths of a circle with quotes in the center. Three fourths of a circle with quotes in the center. 5% of U.S. households hold ETFs. Investment Company Institute, 2016

How can ETFs
fit into your plan?

Depending on your investment goals, ETFs can be used to gain exposure to nearly all types of asset classes. Your Northwestern Mutual advisor can help you navigate ETF options to determine how they might fit into your portfolio.

Who are ETFs for?

ETFs may be good for investors looking for more passive, liquid investments that track a specific benchmark, or who don't meet the minimum amounts for mutual funds. ETFs may not be good for individuals who aren't comfortable with risk or paying commissions on each transaction.

Related: Important Mutual Fund and ETF Disclosures Chevron right arrow.

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Our financial advisors can help you with ETFs and determine if they can fit into your financial plan.

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To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit FINRA BrokerCheck

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are subject to risks similar to those of stocks. Investment returns will fluctuate, so when shares are redeemed or sold they may be worth more or less than their original cost. ETFs are traded on the secondary market, like stocks. As a result, shares of an exchange-traded fund may trade at a premium or discount to the fund's actual net asset value, particularly during periods of market volatility. The performance of an exchange-traded fund may vary from the market index it attempts to replicate due to market volatility, transaction costs, valuation differences, differences between the assets held in the exchange-traded fund's portfolio relative to the market index, and other factors.

No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. All investments carry some level of risk including the potential loss of principal invested. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a down market. Financial Representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.