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How to Start an Exchange Traded Fund: Choosing the Right Assets

Moneymagpie Team 20th Jun 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Launching an exchange traded fund (ETF) can be a rewarding endeavour. It allows you to tap into the booming ETF market and potentially earn attractive returns. But before you dive headfirst into its waters, it’s crucial to understand the process of creating and managing a successful fund.

At the heart of this journey lies the critical step of asset selection, a decision that can make or break your ETF. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a financial newcomer, understanding how to choose the right assets for your ETF is crucial.

In this article, you’ll learn how to select the best ETF assets that’ll maximise returns and minimise risks. Dive in to explore how you can turn your investment ideas into a thriving ETF!

Define Your Investment Objectives

Before diving into ETF investing, you have to ask yourself some important questions. What are your long-term goals? Do you want to mirror a market index, focus on a booming industry, or capitalise on a hot trend?

Clearly defining your objectives upfront is crucial. For instance, if you’re keen on renewable energy, an ETF tracking clean technological companies could align with your aim to go green while growing your wealth.

Remember, a well-defined financial goal acts as your compass, steering you towards the right investment opportunities and keeping your ETF on track to meet its objectives. And this will also point you towards the right ETF investment platform, ideally one where you can easily sink your funds into ETFs hailing from a diverse range of markets and industries from around the globe. That way, you can put your money somewhere that truly interests you.

Conduct Stock Market Research

A wise ETF investment starts with understanding the landscape. Benchmark financial markets, noting what’s hot and what’s not. See where others are putting their money and why. Maybe sustainable investment is taking off, or a new industry is emerging as the next big thing.

Whatever it is, pinpoint those untapped opportunities ripe for an ETF tailored to investors’ current wants and needs. For example, if data shows millennials are enthusiastic about meat alternatives and plant-based diets, creating an ETF that concentrates on companies pioneering alternative protein sources could be a wise investment strategy.

Select the Right Asset Class

When crafting ETF trade strategies, the asset class you select is crucial for a successful investment. After pinpointing your goals, ensure the underlying investments match up. The main types of ETF asset classes include:

Equity ETF

Equity ETFs refer to stocks or ETF shares that represent ownership in a publicly traded company. When you buy equities, you’re purchasing a stake in the company and become a shareholder entitled to a portion of the company’s assets and profits.

Fixed Income

Craving a steady income with minimal drama? A fixed-income can be the best way to go. This includes bonds and other debt securities to provide income and stability. For instance, government bonds ensure regular interest payments, shielding investors from market volatility. On the contrary, corporate bonds are riskier but yield higher returns. Other fixed-income assets like municipal bonds or treasury bills cater to diverse investment goals and tax considerations.

Commodity ETF

You can also invest in commodities like gold, silver, or crops, which provide investment portfolio diversification. Gold historically hedges against inflation, while silver tracks industrial demand. Crude oil futures give exposure to energy markets. Coffee, wheat, or corn connects your money to essential food supplies. Adding commodity ETF exposure alongside share trading and bond ETFs can boost returns and manage risks.

Mixed Assets

Combining individual stocks like tech titans and steady bonds creates diversification. Throw in a dash of commodities—gold safeguards against inflation while oil tracks energy demands. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) provide tangible assets alongside stocks’ growth potential. This mixed portfolio approach maximises returns while minimising risks over time.

Understanding the different asset categories allows you to choose a suitable asset class. Carefully evaluate your options and construct a diversified portfolio tailored to your unique circumstances for optimal long-term growth and stability.

Evaluate Risk and Returns

When building an ETF, it’s crucial to evaluate each asset’s risk-reward tradeoff to determine the net asset value. Analyse past performance data and employ financial models to forecast potential returns alongside volatility risks. This allows for a strategic balance of aggressive, high-growth plays with more consecutive steady holdings.

For instance, allocate a portion to tech upstarts or emerging market equities offering high-risk but unproven upside. But counterbalance with relatively more reliable income generators like blue-chip stocks or corporate bonds. Rounding out with assets like precious metals and government treasuries further diversifies the portfolio.

This blend of risk exposure fosters an ETF aligned with your specific risk tolerance. Some may tilt towards capital appreciation, while others may prioritise wealth preservation. Regardless, this thorough vetting promotes resilience across market cycles by harmonising risks and rewards into a well-allocated portfolio.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Ensuring your ETF complies with regulations is crucial for success. This investment product faces strict oversight, requiring a detailed plan outlining the fund’s structure. Clearly state your strategy. Also, specify the asset classes like stocks, bonds, or alternatives you’ll include.

Also, define clear criteria for selecting assets. For example, a technology ETF might target innovative artificial intelligence or cloud computing firms with strong growth metrics. This thorough proposal demonstrates adherence to guidelines around disclosure, diversification, and risk management.

Regulatory compliance signals legitimacy and builds investor confidence. After rigorous vetting and getting the green light, your ETF can start attracting capital and pursuing its investing goals compliantly.


Choosing the right assets is the cornerstone of launching a successful ETF. Defining your objectives, conducting thorough market research, and selecting and diversifying your assets will enable you to set the proper foundation for an ETF that complies with set regulations and can thrive in the competitive market. Remember, a well-constructed ETF maximises returns and minimises risks, providing investors with a balanced and rewarding investment option.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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