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The nitty gritty of investment instruments

We might think that one S&P 500 ETF will be much like another. Sure, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is in many senses much like the iShares Core (IVV) and the Vanguard (VOO). That’s not hugely a surprise, they’re all supposed to be passive index trackers on the S&P 500, they’re all large enough to actually hold the stocks themselves, why wouldn’t they be pretty much the same?

But they’re not all the same, and this is something that we need to grasp about all sorts of securities. Even tiny differences can mean that we can and should use a specific security for one case – say, speculation or trading – and another seemingly similar one for investment purposes – buy and hold strategies say.

I get to use the old joke:

‘Arold, those tinned herrings you sold me. The Missus and I tried some, they’re terrible”. “Bert, those herrings, they’re for selling, not eating.”

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