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Book review: The Ultimate ETF Guidebook

Book review: The Ultimate ETF Guidebook How ETFs evolved from simple funds that tracked the main indices to more complex smart-beta funds that attempt to beat the market.

The Ultimate ETF Guidebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the World of Exchange-Traded Funds

By David Stevenson and David Tuckwell, published by Harriman House (£35)

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The last two decades have seen a dramatic move away from traditional actively managed funds in favour of passive investments, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), that can be bought and sold like shares on a stock exchange. This flexibility has won ETFs many fans. MoneyWeek contributor David Stevenson and David Tuckwell are among them.

The authors look at how ETFs have developed over the last 20 years, evolving from simple funds that tracked the main indices to more complex smart-beta funds that attempt to beat the market while keeping costs low. The pair then spend around 70 pages looking at the best ETFs for each major market and asset. Then they look at how to build a complete portfolio, concluding with a list of what they see as the best products.

The book is aimed at two types of readers: those who want to learn more about ETFs in general, and those who are looking to buy an ETF, but are unsure about which specific one to buy. The first type of reader will enjoy Stevenson and Tuckwell's simple, to-the-point explanations of the underlying concepts. However, even if you already understand the concepts, you will like the duo's frank commentary about the strengths and weakness of various indices and products. This is a useful book for both those new to investing and those who are more experienced.

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