To say that the current global investment market has given investors pause for thought would be a major understatement. They want out of the nuthouse, and they want some security for their money, for once. The 2008 crash did one useful thing, if nothing else- It redefined the relationship between investors and the investment market more than anything since 1929. The US market went from the biggest market of all time to a testimony to the powers of debt collection, and took its professional credibility with it.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) started in the 90s, largely as an alternative to mutual funds. They were like the small mammals among the dinosaurs, and were “boutique” investments with high unit prices for investing in baskets of stocks which were usually based on specific indices. Unlike mutuals, they could also be traded in real time on the markets, so they gained some popularity as low risk, high value investments.
ETFs are managed funds, (small percentile fees) and they’re generally managed by major leaguers like Vanguard, Deutsche Bank and other heavyweights. That level of management helped separate the wheat from the chaff when the mortgage securities disaster happened. There were several ETFs specializing in mortgage securities, and they, like anything and everything connected with those securities, were hammered by the markets.