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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Elements Of A Good ETF Trading System

By Patrick Deaton

Exchange traded funds -- which is what the abbreviation "ETF" stands for -- can be an exciting way to get started on making a good income from trading in the markets. Gaining an appreciation for the ETF trading system and its place in investing activities is necessary in order for any small investor to get started in ETF's. Keep in mind that markets all have risk, and making money is not guaranteed.

Exchange traded funds fare certain similarities to mutual funds -- in the way they are set up -- and corporate stocks (in the way they are bought and sold and traded). Also, the costs involved in trading in an ETF generally are low and the tracking of taxes as a result of these trading activities is generally fairly easy.

Most of the time, ETF's restrict membership in them, if one wants to call it that, to authorized participants. In this case, "authorized participants" generally means large institutional investors only. ETF's also require trading be done in what is known in the industry as "creation units." These are huge blocks of stocks. No small investor can come close to meeting those requirements.

Fortunately, there are a lot of exchange traded fund trading systems that exist online through which a small investor can begin participating in the ETF trading day activities. Starting capital requirements to participate in these trading systems are generally reasonable, and usually require only a few thousand dollars. ETF trading systems substitute, in a way, as an institutional investor.

ETF's also operate predictably in that they all will track one or another of the major market indexes and will base their trading activities on that index. For instance, many exchange traded funds track the activities taking place on the Standard & Poor's 500, which is one of the top market indexes in the world. Many times, trading system investors track activity by the minute.

Keep in mind that just about every ETF trading system has certain rules that an investor who wishes to enter into the system must adhere to. Many ETF's share similarities in how they track markets, also. One popular way is through what the industry calls "trend following." It's safe to say that this is probably one of the most popular ways trading systems use to operate.

Probably, tracking trends and then timing the markets is the most common way that investors and ETF trading systems try to make their money. Remember that most trading activity needs to be settled in the trading system by the end of day (EOD) much as in the same way that daytraders have to settle up all of their trades. Study the rules laid out by each system before deciding to invest capital.

For a small investor who has a limited amount of starting capital and who wants to get in on the possibility of making real and defined income by trading in exchange traded funds, and ETF trading system is probably the single best way of doing so. Costs are attractively low, as are the efficiencies and tracking of taxes that may result. Additionally, there's plenty of training available for those thinking of participating. - 23208

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