ETNs vs ETFs

Beyond tax considerations, the primary differentiation between ETFs and ETNs boils down to risk, tracking risk vs. credit risk in particular.  Whereas ETFs are a tracking risk, ETNs are a credit risk.  For example, if the issuing bank goes bankrupt, the ETN investor will probably not receive the investment return they were banking on.  An ETF, on the other hand, has virtually no credit risk, but there is tracking risk involved with holding an ETF.

 

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