Why are ETFs thought to be safer investments than stocks?

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular investments over the years. ETFs allow investors to diversify their portfolios, offering access to numerous asset classes and markets in one convenient package. In addition to providing a simple way for investors to diversify their portfolios, ETFs in Singapore are also considered safer investments than stocks due to several factors.

Lack of volatility

One of the primary reasons why ETFs are considered safer investments than stocks is the lack of volatility they tend to experience. Unlike individual stocks that can often swing wildly in either direction based on news or rumours, ETFs remain relatively stable, providing investors with a reliable return on their investments. It makes ETFs an ideal investment option for those looking to protect their capital while still enjoying the potential gains of the stock market.

Diversification benefits

Another reason why ETFs are seen as safer investments than stocks is due to the diversification they offer. By investing in several different asset classes, markets, and sectors at once, investors can spread their risk and ensure that no single event drastically impacts their portfolio. Furthermore, by holding multiple securities within one fund, investors benefit from regular rebalancing, which helps reduce volatility and maximise returns over time.

Low-cost access to global markets

ETFs provide investors with low-cost access to a wide range of global markets, which can increase diversification and reduce risk. With ETFs, investors can quickly gain exposure to different countries, sectors, and asset classes without incurring excessive fees or commissions. It makes ETFs an attractive option for those looking to reduce their cost of entry into the stock market while maintaining a well-diversified portfolio.

Professional management

Most ETFs are professionally managed by experienced investment managers who carefully monitor the performance of each fund and make adjustments as needed. The expertise these professionals bring to the table helps ensure that investments remain on track and that unexpected events do not cause significant losses. Furthermore, many funds are actively monitored by third-party rating agencies, which help to provide additional transparency and peace of mind for investors.

Tax efficiency

ETFs also offer investors tax efficiency in terms of capital gains. ETFs typically have lower turnover rates than stocks and are not subject to the same fees or taxes as individual stocks. Therefore, ETFs can provide investors with long-term capital gains without incurring excessive taxes or commissions. In addition, countries like Singapore allows investors to enjoy ETF benefits without having to deal with foreign taxes.

ETF risks

While there are several benefits to trading ETFs, there are also certain risks investors should be aware of before investing. Awareness of these risks is essential to ensure that any investment decision is made with a thorough understanding of the potential gains and losses involved.


One of the primary risks associated with ETFs is liquidity risk, which is the risk that an investor will be unable to liquidate their position quickly enough to prevent losses. Investors need to be aware of this risk and ensure they are comfortable with the level of liquidity before investing in an ETF.

Market volatility

Another potential risk when investing in ETFs is market volatility. While ETFs tend to experience less volatility than individual stocks, they can still face significant swings depending on market conditions and any news or events related to the underlying holdings within a fund. Investors should take time to research each fund and its holdings before investing.

Tracking errors

Some ETFs are actively managed, meaning there is a risk that the performance of the fund may deviate from its benchmark index over time due to different trading strategies or other factors. It is a tracking error and can impact returns if not monitored carefully.

Counterparty risk

ETFs are subject to counterparty risk, the risk that the other party involved in a transaction may not fulfil their obligation. It can be imperative with leveraged ETFs since they often involve borrowing money from a third party to increase returns. Investors should ensure that any counterparty used is reputable and financially sound before investing in an ETF.