An exchange-traded fund, or ETF, is a type of investment fund that trades on stock exchanges, much like individual stocks. It's generally designed to track the performance of a specific index, sector, commodity, or asset class.
ETFs provide investors with the opportunity to access a wide range of assets without needing to own them directly. This means you can diversify your investments across different securities without the hassle of managing individual holdings.
It's important for investors to understand the specific characteristics, risks, and objectives of an ETF before investing. Reading the issuer's fact sheets and product disclosure documents (including the summary and full prospectus for any US-listed ETFs) can help individuals make informed decisions based on their investment goals and risk tolerance.