What are the types of ETFs available for investment?

Last Updated: 22-May-2021

Short Answer

Exchange-Traded Funds or ETFs are an investment tool that tracks particular securities like Equity, Commodity, Bonds, etc. ETFs are available for many categories from which one can choose from. These are listed on Stock Exchanges (NSE & BSE) hence there is ample liquidity and one can easily buy and sell these at their desired price during market hours. Some ETFs available for investment in Indian markets are Equity ETFs, Debt ETFs, etc.

Detailed Answer

What are ETFs?

An ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) is an investment instrument that provides a broad range of investment options under it. ETFs are managed by a Fund manager who makes sure that the Fund tracks the underlying asset accurately. ETFs are listed on the Stock Exchanges hence, are called Exchange-traded funds.

Types of ETFs

ETFs are not restricted to one asset class like Equity or Equity indices. ETFs are very flexible and can track a variety of assets like Gold, Bonds, Foreign Indices, etc.

Some types of ETFs available for Investment are

1. Equity ETFs

Equity ETFs are Funds that have Equity shares as the underlying asset. For example, Nifty Midcap 100 ETF has the top 100 Mid-cap companies of the Nifty. Similarly, Equity ETFs are associated with a particular sector and track the performance of the Equity Shares present in that particular sector. Example HDFC Nifty Midcap 150 ETF, Nippon India JuniorBees ETF are some examples of Equity ETFs.

2. Index ETF

Index ETFs are similar to Equity ETFs but instead, they track the performance of an Index. Index ETFs include the Nifty50 Index or the S&P 500 Index which tracks the overall index consisting of a group of Stocks. Index ETFs are mostly passively managed funds as there is not much re-balancing to do within them. Nippon India Nifty50 ETF, HDFC Nifty50 ETF are some options of Index ETFs.

3. Commodity ETF

As the name suggests Commodity ETFs are ETFs that have a physical commodity as their underlying. Commodity ETFs let investors take exposure in commodities like Gold, Silver, Lead, etc which are hard to buy and store in physical form. SBI Gold ETF & ICICI Pru Gold ETF are some examples of commodity ETF in the Indian markets. These are Gold ETFs that allow investors to get the same return of Gold without going through the hassle of buying and storing the Physical metal.

4. Debt ETFs

Debt EFTs are those types of ETFs that have Debt securities as the underlying. Debt ETFs generally are the safest and offer the least rate of return among the other types of ETFs. Debt ETFs give the investor a diversified exposure in various kinds of Debt instruments so the overall risk is distributed among many securities. Edelweiss Bharat Bond is one of the most common debt ETFs in the Indian Stock exchanges which offer a stable yield of 4.5 to 7% annually. Debt ETFs generally have the lowest expense ratio as these ETFs are passively managed.


These were some of the types of ETF which are listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges. ETFs are a good option for diversifying your wealth as there are many options available.

One should consider a mixture of Equity, Commodity & Debt ETFs in their portfolio so that the overall risk is mitigated. ETFs are also a good option for passive investors as regular monitoring and re-balancing are not necessary.

Tagged With: Exchange Traded FundsStock MarketsIndexDebt securitiescommodities
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Related FAQs
Is it better to buy ETFs or Mutual Funds?

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) & Mutual Funds are investment avenues that are managed by a Fund manager and allow Retail investors to invest in them. ETFs are listed on Stock Exchanges, and Mutual Funds are not. Usually, ETFs track an Index or sector whereas Mutual Funds offer a much more variety of Funds from which an investor can choose from. Both of these investment vehicles have their own merits and demerits. One should evaluate their risk profile and goals and choose one of them either. Find out which of these is the better option.

How does an ETF work?

ETF is an investment instrument that tracks a group of securities from a particular asset class and performs according to it. It is managed by a Fund manager who makes sure that the ETF tracks the underlying asset accurately. ETFs are listed on the Stock Exchanges therefore one can buy & sell them within the market hours at their desired prices.

What is Mirae Asset FANG Plus ETF?

The Mirae Asset NYSE FANG Plus ETF Fund is a good option for Investors who want foreign exposure. The Equity allocation is very concentrated to just 10 stocks which makes this ETF very volatile and risky. This ETF consists of the top 10 stocks in their respective sectors mostly TECH, like Amazon, Netflix. Facebook, etc. Hence Investors with high-risk tolerance and a long time period should consider this fund.

Are ETFs only for stocks?

ETFs are a financial instrument made to track an underlying asset and provide similar returns based on the performance of the underlying. ETFs are listed on stock exchanges which make it easier to buy and sell at desired prices. ETFs are not only limited to stocks but cover a wide range of investment avenues like Commodities, Bonds, etc.

What are the best mutual funds to generate income?

Mutual funds are professionally managed investment vehicles that offer numerous categories of funds to investors. To generate regular cash flows or income, investors can use the Systematic Withdrawal Plan or invest in Dividend Payout and Debt funds to receive regular income. Debt funds provide regular interest payouts, whereas dividend payout funds give regular dividends which act as regular income.

How are ETFs different from Mutual Funds?

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and Mutual Funds are similar investment vehicles that provide the investors various features. Both have their benefits and shortcomings. ETFs are a good option for passive investors who want to invest in a particular Index or Sector without much rebalancing. On the other hand, Mutual Funds are a better option for active investors who are more active with their investments. One can switch between funds according to their current strategies.

Can I buy 1 share of Nifty or Bank-Nifty?

Nifty is an index comprising of the top 50 companies in terms of the market capitalization of the NSE (National Stock Exchange). Bank Nifty, on the other hand, comprises 12 top banking stocks of the NSE. These indices are an attractive option for investors as they track the performance of the most valuable companies of the NSE. Know if you can purchase one share in these indices.

Can a retail investor buy Government Securities?

Government securities include both T-Bills (Treasury Bills) and Government bonds which are both short and long-term instruments issued by the Central & State governments for various purposes. Retail investors are allowed to invest in G-Secs provided by the RBI. One can buy them directly from the Stock exchanges in a non-competitive method.

How can I buy the Nifty?

The Nifty 50 is an index consisting of the top 50 companies in terms of market cap, present on the NSE (National Stock Exchange). These companies can be termed as Large-Cap stable companies which are on top of the list. Buying Nifty directly is not possible as Nifty is not a stock that one can buy. One can get exposure to the Nifty indirectly by some investment lools like ETFs, etc.

Why are ETF or Exchange Traded Funds not popular in India?

Exchange traded fund is a freely marketable security which tracks a particular index, commodity, bonds or combination of assets. they aren't popular as there is no additional tax incentives, not enough liquidity, under performs most of the time, lack of choices, lack of institutional interest, costs are low but not enough and lack of awareness.