Exchange Traded funds or simply know as ETFs are a type of Mutual Funds that aims to provide returns similar to the index it is tracking, by investing in the basket of securities which are part of the underlying index. ETFs can be based on indices tracking various asset classes like equity shares (NIFTY 50 ETF), bonds (10 year G-Sec ETF), Gold (Gold ETF), Tri-party Repo (Liquid ETF) etc. It also can be created to provide focused exposure to various sectors like Bank, strategy like Momentum or theme like ESG.

In order to give similar performance, In an ETF the weight of all securities mirrors the weight of the securities in the underlying benchmark index. For example, A NIFTY 50 ETF will invest in 50 stocks which are part of NIFTY 50 index in the same weightages and hence will aim to give you returns similar to the NIFTY 50 index.

As the name implies, Exchange Traded Fund are listed and trades like stock on the stock exchange and hence can be bought and sold at intra-day market levels.

ETFs are called passive funds because the fund manager does not try to outperform the benchmark index but instead tries to mirror its performance.


ETF: Two investment ideas brought together

Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) aims to generate total returns of the underlying index like NIFTY 50 by investing in the index portfolio

ETF Timeline

Source: AMFI Reports, ETFGI , DIAPM and EPFO

Advantages of an ETF

The Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are:

  • Easy to Transact (Can be bought or sold on exchange)
  • Transparent (Replicates the portfolio and return of stated index (subject to tracking error)
  • Frugal (Usually Low cost)

ETFs are an investment medium which combine the features of mutual fund & stock investing. On one hand, investors can buy an ETF with an aim to get underlying Index returns at relatively low cost (low expense ratio) and on the other hand they can trade in an ETF like a stock at live NAV, to benefit from intra-day volatility, if desired.

Some of the features of investing through an ETF :

  • Trades on exchange like stocks throughout the day
  • Priced close to Live NAV, hence can be bought and sold intra day at current value

Low Cost
  • Usually Lower expense ratio than active equity funds since active fund management is not required
  • No exit load

  • Portfolio is disclosed on a daily basis
  • Aims to Replicates the return of the underlying index (subject to tracking error)

  • NIFTY 50 ETFs have outperformed 93% and 81% of large cap mutual funds in the previous 3 year and 5 year period respectively (as on Jun 30, 2020)*

*Source: ACE MF. ETF performance is compared against 28 large cap funds Regular plan (Growth). As on Jun 30, 2020. Investors should read the offer document to know in details about the product. Past performance may or may not sustain in future.

The above is pertaining to performance of the category of Funds and does not in any manner indicate the performance of any individual scheme of any Fund.

Difference between an ETF and Mutual Fund

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are a professionally managed investment instrument like Mutual Funds. Both provide access to securities and asset classes depending on the desired risk return objective of the fund.

The key differences between ETFs and Active Mutual Fund Scheme are mentioned in the table below.

ParameterExchange Traded Fund Active Mutual Fund Scheme
TradingListed and traded on exchange just like stocksOpen ended mutual funds are usually not listed on exchange
Transaction PriceCan be bought and sold at live Nav (iNAV), hence investor can use intra-day market movementOpen ended mutual funds are bought and sold only at day closing NAV
Returns ObjectiveAims to generate returns which are similar to the benchmark IndexAims to generate returns based on fund managers skill and view & aims to outperform the benchmark Index
PortfolioReplicates the portfolio of the benchmark IndexPortfolio is created based on fund manager view, within the investment objective of the fund
CostLower cost since active management of the portfolio is not required Average expense ratio of Nifty 50 ETFs is 0.08%*1Active management of portfolio etc. leads to higher cost Average expense ratio of large funds is 2.2% (Regular)*2
Exit LoadNo Exit LoadCan have Exit Load

*Source: ACE MF. *1 Average of 17 NIFTY 50 ETFs. *2 Average of 28 large cap funds Regular plan (Growth). Behaviour of Plain vanilla ETFs and open ended mutual funds are explained in this note. As on Jun 30, 2020.

What is the difference between ETFs and Index Funds?

ParameterIndex Fund ETF
Track the performance of index?YesYes
Is it traded like stock?NoYes, on exchange where it is listed
Transaction basis?NAV (EOD)around intraday indicative NAV
From where can you buy?AMCExchange where it is listed/ AMC
Who provides Liquidity?AMCStock Market/Authorize Participants/ AMC (for direct transaction)
Portfolio Disclosure?Once in monthOn Daily Basis
Intra-Day Trading?Not PossiblePossible
Transaction cost?Spread across all the investorEach investor bears his own transaction cost

How to trade in an ETF?

There are two modes of transacting in ETF which happens around intraday indicative net asset value

  • On Exchange, just like stocks, in as low as 1 unit
  • Directly with the AMC, in larger quantum as specified for an ETF


ETF Ke Funde

#ETFKeFunde​ is a unique digital series from Mirae Asset MF for all the investors. We have lined up our best speakers who will be part of this ETF investment training journey. Every week we will bring to you one crisp video by our in-house expert explaining nuisances of ETF investing and hope to give some insightful content though ETF ke funde knowledge series, starting 5th March 2021.

ETF Channel



You can buy or sell ETF units from the stock exchange through your stock broker in any quantity, just like stocks. Alternatively, a large Investor can buy or sell ETF units directly from the AMC in only creation unit lot size.

Yes, Demat account is mandatory since ETF units are issued and traded in Demat form only.

ETFs are schemes which try to replicate the return of an Index it is tracking. The fund has to invest minimum 95% of its total assets in securities of the Index that it is tracking.

Dividends received by the Scheme will be reinvested in the scheme. However, the Fund may also decide to distribute dividends to the investors

ETF tracks the performance of the Total return index and hence gives investor both the price and and dividend returns

ETFs are taxed like Mutual Funds depending on its asset category. For example, a NIFTY 50 ETF will be taxed like an equity mutual fund.

The market price of an ETF is determined by the prices of the securities held by the ETF (indicative net asset value) as well as market supply and demand. The market maker (Authorized Partner) of the ETF, which is appointed by the AMC, provides buy and sell quotes on the exchange to ensure liquidity and keeps the price around indicative net asset value throughout the day.

The market price of an ETF is driven in part by supply and demand. Depending on these market forces, the market price may be above or below the NAV of the fund, which is known as a premium or discount.

The materials are a part of Investor Education and Awareness initiative of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund.

For information on one-time KYC (Know Your Customer) process, Registered Mutual Funds and procedure to lodge a complaint in case of any grievance. Click here!

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*An Investor Education Initiative by Mirae Asset Mutual Fund

All Mutual Fund investors have to go through a one-time KYC (Know Your Customer) process. Investors should deal only with Registered Mutual Funds (RMF). For further information on KYC, RMFs and procedure to lodge a complaint in case of any grievance, you may refer the Knowledge Center section available on the website of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund. Click here!

The information contained in this document is compiled from third party and publically available sources and is included for general information purposes only. There can be no assurance and guarantee on the yields. Views expressed by the Fund Manager cannot be construed to be a decision to invest. The statements contained herein are based on current views and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Mirae Asset Investment Managers (India) Private Limited (the AMC) shall have no responsibility/liability whatsoever for the accuracy or any use or reliance thereof of such information. The AMC, its associate or sponsors or group companies, its Directors or employees accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind resulting out of the use of this document. The recipient(s) before acting on any information herein should make his/her/their own investigation and seek appropriate professional advice and shall alone be fully responsible / liable for any decision taken on the basis of information contained herein. Any reliance on the accuracy or use of such information shall be done only after consultation to the financial consultant to understand the specific legal, tax or financial implications. Investors are advised to read the Scheme Information Document of the respective scheme to know in detail about the product before investing.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.