Choosing an ETF

I’ve been fortunate enough to have some extra spending money left over from a trip to New York City. I suppose I could cash the American dollars at the bank and receive Canadian dollars, or I could use the American dollars to buy American stocks. I like that option a lot because the greenback has been appreciating in value and American stocks continue to go strong.

I’m deciding on buying an ETF this time around. I think an ETF is great, especially one that tracks the S&P 500, because they would let me ride the wave that is the American stock market. Over at least the past 30 years, the S&P 500 has managed to grow at an average rate of 12% per year. Plus investing in an ETF that tracks this index is like investing in the whole stock market. I have faith in what major investors have said in the past, that the American stock market will continue to grow over time. I would expect some years to be better or worse than others, but if I can find a way to make extra money without having to touch my stock portfolio, it should pan out well.

I’ve narrowed my search of ETFs to three: OEF, SPY and IVV. I like OEF because it is the most affordable ETF out of the three, but it also has the highest expense ratio, which I think, means it actually costs the most to own. However, IVV and SPY are close in their price, but they’re expense ratios are slightly different even though they seem to have the same holdings. Also, they both pay dividends every three months (roughly $1 USD per share). The expense ratio of SPY is about 0.09% and the expense ratio of IVV is 0.04%. According to online sources, this means that 0.09% or 0.04% of the funds total assets will be used to cover expenses. So when you buy $100 worth of shares, a percentage of that will be used to cover expenses. If that’s accurate, I suppose that means an investor only pays the expense ratio when they buy their shares. Correct me if I am wrong.

Since the IVV and SPY seem very close but only differ in their expense ratios, I will likely move forward with IVV. Wish me luck!

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