The Shortfalls of ETF Investing

Despite gaining widespread popularity, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are not an all-encompassing solution; they are just another “tool in the toolbox.” For the do-it-yourself investor, ETF investing has a variety of shortcomings and presents unique challenges:

  • ETFs cannot help an investor determine the proper asset allocation
  • The sheer size of the ETF universe adds complexity to the investment process
  • ETFs are not all highly liquid: trading small and midsize funds can be difficult
  • ETFs can have misleading names relative to their underlying holdings
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