EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS. INTRODUCTION WHAT ARE ETFs ETFs IN ACTION GET STARTED

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1 INTRODUCTION WHAT ARE ETFs ETFs IN ACTION GET STARTED 1

2 INTRODUCTION EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS It seems like everyone s talking about exchange traded funds! They re saying many ETFs are low-cost flexible convenient tax efficient and smart. And they re not just talking about them today a trillion dollars is invested across hundreds of ETFs. But it s time to sort through the Buzz and ask - What are the facts? Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. You can request a prospectus by visiting schwab.com or by calling Schwab at Please read the prospectus carefully before investing. Some specialized exchange-traded funds can be subject to additional market risks. Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor s shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Unlike mutual funds, shares of ETFs are not individually redeemable directly with the ETF. 2

3 INTRODUCTION USE THEM TO PURSUE YOUR GOALS Spend a few minutes with us and we ll cut through the buzz. You ll learn: Exactly what ETFs are Why thousands of investors have added them to their portfolios And how they can play a role in helping you achieve your financial goals. We ll give you the facts about ETFs, so you can decide if they make sense for you. And if they do, we ll tell you how to get started. 3

4 WHAT ARE ETFs BUZZ: AN EASY WAY TO BUILD A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO? Here s the buzz: ETFs are an easy way to build a diversified portfolio. What are the facts? ETFs do offer a convenient way to build a diversified portfolio, but you need to do your homework to use them properly. To help you understand more, let s talk a little bit about how ETFs are structured. Each share of a typical ETF represents an investment in a diversified basket of securities, such as stocks and bonds. Of course, you could build a diversified portfolio by researching and purchasing a range of individual stocks, bonds and other individual securities. But by purchasing ETFs, you may be able to get broader diversification more easily even if you have limited funds to invest. Does that mean ETFs provide easy diversification? Not exactly you still need to research ETFs carefully before investing to make sure that they are providing the diversified exposure you re looking for, and that their investment strategies match your goals. Please see important disclosures on page 19. 4

5 WHAT ARE ETFs Graph not representative of any specific investment. ETFs TRADE LIKE STOCKS Here s another thing you may have heard: ETFs offer greater trading flexibility than mutual funds. This is true. Mutual fund shares change hands once a day after the market closes. ETFs are bought and sold throughout the day on a Stock Exchange - like stocks. And because they are traded on an exchange, you can also maintain more control over your price by placing limit or stop orders. As for flexibility, ETFs can even be used in short sales and purchased on margin Short selling is an advanced trading strategy involving potentially unlimited risks, and must be done in a margin account. Margin trading increases your level of market risk. For more information please refer to your account agreement and the Margin Risk Disclosure Statement. 5

6 WHAT ARE ETFs MORE RETURNS ARE PASSED ON TO YOU Are ETFs really lower cost than Mutual Funds? Here s are the facts about costs: ETFs do typically have lower expense ratios that is, fewer ongoing fees charged to shareholders-- than comparable mutual funds. That s good news it means that more of the fund s returns are passed along to you. But most ETFs trade on commission, like stocks. If you are making frequent small investments over time, commissions can add up. It may be more cost effective to buy a no load mutual fund. Or, you can look for commission-free ETFs, which are available through some brokers, including Schwab.* Keep in mind that commission-free ETFs still have management fees, and brokers may have restrictions on purchase. *Restrictions apply: Online trades of Schwab ETFs are commission-free at Schwab, while trades of 3rd-party ETFs are subject to commissions. Broker-Assisted and Automated Phone trades are subject to service charges. Minimum $1,000 deposit is required to open most Schwab brokerage accounts. Waivers may apply. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for more details. 6

7 WHAT ARE ETFs BUZZ: MORE TRANSPARENT THAN MUTUAL FUNDS? You may have heard that ETFs are more transparent than mutual funds. This is true. Both mutual funds and ETFs are transparent which means that you can see exactly how they are invested. But mutual funds typically make their holdings public only at quarter end, while ETFs make their holdings publicly available on a daily basis. If you like to know exactly what your investments hold, ETFs make it easy. 7

8 WHAT ARE ETFs FUND DISTRIBUTOR SELLS ASSETS TO PAY SHAREHOLDERS TRADES BETWEEN SHAREHOLDERS* CAPITAL GAINS LESS LIKELY *Less trading activity within the fund than actively managed funds. CAPITAL GAINS TAXES Are ETFs as tax-efficient as some experts claim? Generally, the answer is yes. Unlike mutual funds where shareholders buy and sell shares with the fund distributor, ETFs trade between shareholders on the exchange. That means ETFs typically do not have to sell assets to pay out shareholders which means less likelihood of capital gains being passed on to you. Also, because many ETFs track indexes instead of buying and selling holdings to try to beat the market, they typically realize fewer gains through trading activity than actively managed mutual funds. But keep in mind: dividends you receive from an ETF are still taxable income, and when you ultimately sell your shares, you may face capital gains tax on the sale. So tax efficient? In many ways, yes. Tax free? No. 8

9 WHAT ARE ETFs ETFs CAN BE A VALUABLE TOOL Once you ve cut through the buzz and learned the facts about ETFs, what s the real story? ETFs can be a valuable tool in your investment toolkit, providing the diversification of a mutual fund with the trading flexibility of a stock. 9

10 WHAT ARE ETFs IN SUMMARY ETFs offer a convenient way to build a diversified portfolio. They trade on an exchange like stocks, providing trading flexibility. They typically have lower expense ratios than comparable mutual funds. They offer transparency, disclosing their holdings daily. And they can provide certain tax advantages. 10

11 ETFs IN ACTION REALITY VS. NOISE Now that you know a little more about ETFs, in our next section, you ll learn how you can put these characteristics to work in your investing strategy. When it comes to using ETFs in your portfolio, separating the reality from the noise can be confusing. 11

12 ETFs IN ACTION TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ETF VARIETY You ve probably heard about ETFs being compared to index mutual funds, but you may have also heard about ETFs being risky investments with exotic holdings. Which is true? The answer is both! In fact, the first ETFs were designed to offer an efficient way to invest in broad market indexes, such as the S&P 500. Even today, these are many of the most popular ETFs. But as the ETF market has developed and investors looked for new ways to pursue their investing strategies, new and occasionally more exotic ETFs have been developed. Today you can find ETFs that consist of almost any group of securities imaginable, including: 12 Broad stock indexes Stocks from a specific sector, industry, region or country Bonds Commodities Real Estate Currencies and derivatives This variety means there are many different ways to use ETFs in your portfolio.

13 ETFs IN ACTION YOU CAN BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO ENTIRELY OF ETFs First, you can build an entire portfolio of ETFs by carefully selecting various broad market ETFs to create your asset allocation such as a domestic stock ETF, an international stock ETF, a bond ETF, and a real estate ETF. Or, you can select ETFs for exposure to market segments you re not currently getting from your stocks, bonds or mutual funds. These can include anything from broad categories like bonds to narrow slices of a market such as emerging markets, high yield bonds or commodities, even currencies. Do you keep cash in your portfolio so that you can quickly take advantage of potential opportunities? ETFs can offer quick access to specific parts of the market that you have researched and believe will outperform. Believe International is going to outperform the market? Or do you have a conviction about a niche sector like Green Energy? ETFs can complement your portfolio by letting you overweight a sector without having to buy a lot of individual stocks. 13

14 ETFs IN ACTION CONVENIENT FAST COST EFFECTIVE THE REALITY What s the bottom line to using ETFs in your portfolio? Just this: they are not a magic bullet that guarantees success. They have risks like any investment. But the reality is that they offer fast, convenient and cost-effective ways to pursue many investing strategies. 14

15 ETFs IN ACTION IN SUMMARY There are a wide variety of ETFs, and many ways in which you can use them. You can build an entire portfolio of ETFs. Your can use ETFs to fill a gap in your portfolio. You can use ETFs to overweight a sector you believe is rising. It is likely they can play some role in your portfolio. 15

16 ETFs WHAT GET STARTED IN ARE ACTION ETFs READY TO INVEST? NEED SOME GUIDANCE? GETTING STARTED WITH ETFs Are you new to ETFs and need some guidance? Schwab can help. From a portfolio consultation to professionally managed ETF portfolios, we offer help the way you want it, to help you pursue your financial goals with ETFs. 16

17 ETFs WHAT GET STARTED IN ARE ACTION ETFs ALREADY A SCHWAB CLIENT? NEW TO SCHWAB? Start your research at Schwab s ETF Center Open an account at Schwab.com READY TO INVEST? Start your research at Schwab s ETF Center. Get the answers you need about ETFs, including perspectives and insights from Schwab s investing experts. With Schwab s ETF Select List, you can see our experts top picks from a multitude of Schwab and third-party ETFs. Our ETF research tools use the latest data from Morningstar to make it easy for you to screen, compare, and analyze ETFs. Open an account with Schwab: It s easy to open a brokerage or IRA account on Schwab.com, over the phone at , or at your local Schwab branch. 17

18 ETFs WHAT GET STARTED IN ARE ACTION ETFs NEED SOME GUIDANCE? Schwab can help with all your investing decisions. CALL NOW:

19 DISCLOSURES Fixed-income investments are subject to various risks, including changes in interest rates, credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications, and other factors. The lower rated securities in which high-yield bond funds invest are subject to greater credit risk, default risk and liquidity risk. Risks of real estate funds are similar to those associated with direct ownership of real estate, such as changes in real estate values and property taxes, interest rates, cash flow of underlying real estate assets, supply and demand, and the management skill and credit worthiness of the issuer. International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, political instability, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Since sector- and commodity-specific funds are not diversified and focus their investments entirely in a single sector, commodity, or basket of commodities, the funds will involve a greater degree of risk than an investment in other diversified fund types. For tax reporting purposes, keep in mind that commodity ETFs typically generate a schedule K-1 instead of a 1099 tax form. They are not intended to serve as a complete investment program by themselves. Diversification strategies do not assure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Schwab ETFs distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co (SIDCO). SIDCO is not affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. S&P500 Index Definition: Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees and cannot be invested in directly. Information in this presentation is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, Financial Planner or Investment Manager Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) All rights reserved. ( ) 19

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