ETF Portfolio Transparency

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What is Transparency?

Transparency in the investment business means how much access the investor has to information about the company stock or fund manager. There is low transparency where there is not much public information on the investment such as an Alternative fund. In this case the alternative fund does not trade or disclose their investments except upon request. On the other hand, high transparency means the information about company is readily available on financial reports and the investment positions on funds are visible to the public.

Unfortunately, there are degrees of transparency in dealing with your investments. Most publicly traded stocks have their financial information at the company website themselves or government filings. On the fund manager end the least transparent funds are Alternative investments with ETFs being the most transparent of fund managers.


An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an investment fund traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. An ETF holds assets such as stocks, commodities, or bonds, and trades close to its net asset value over the course of the trading day. Most ETFs track an index, such as a stock index or bond index. ETFs may be attractive as investments because of their low costs, tax efficiency, and stock-like features. ETFs are the most popular type of exchange-traded product. – Wikipedia
The more transparent an investment is to the investor, the better and quicker a decision can be made on whether to buy, sell or hold. Example, when analyzing an ETF you are able to see the NAV (Net Asset Value) price trade during the trading day. This transparency is unlike traditional open-end mutual funds who do not price their funds until day’s end. The investor may not know how much he made or lost with traditional open-end mutual funds.

ETF transparency sets a high standard for fund managers. You are able to see the entire holdings of an ETF at the website of the Fund company. These holdings are updated daily.

You are able to see the expense ratio clearly publicized at most research websites such as Morningstar or ETFdb to include the fund’s own website.

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