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The ETF Book: All You Need to Know About Exchange-Traded Funds Hardcover – August 24, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Updated Edition edition (August 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470537469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470537466
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Investors interested in ETFs will find this book an extremely useful resource. Virtually every topic related to ETFs is covered, in an unbiased, comprehensive, and easy-to-understand manner." (Advisor Perspectives, December 2007)

"The ETF Book is an excellent compendium of the background, structural drivers, pros and cons of ETFs, as well as the strategies that can be advanced using them. Years from now, this book will be noted for introducing index strategy boxes as a powerful analytic." (SFO Magazine, April 2008) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

When the original edition of The ETF Book was first published in 2007, it immediately became the source for cutting-edge information on many exchange-traded products (ETPs)—mainly exchange-trade funds (ETFs). The book has still not been surpassed, but with the marketplace for ETPs quickly evolving, now is the perfect time for the Updated Edition of The ETF Book.

This detailed, yet clearly articulated guide—written by veteran financial professional and experienced author Richard Ferri—contains the most up-to-date information on navigating the growing number of ETPs available in today's market. Divided into four comprehensive parts, this revised resource introduces you to everything from successful structures such as bond funds, commodities funds, and currency funds to concepts such as actively managed ETFs that have recently become a reality. Along the way, you'll gain valuable insight into how you can effectively integrate ETFs into any portfolio.

Becoming an informed investor means that you need to know what makes ETFs unique, how they work, and which funds may help you achieve your financial goals. Whether you're just getting started or are a seasoned investor, the Updated Edition of The ETF Book will help enhance your understanding of this dynamic field by:

  • Detailing the different types of ETPs, including ETFs, exchange-traded notes (ETNs), grantor trusts, and unit investment trusts (UITs)

  • Exploring the latest ETF strategies—from buy, hold, and rebalance to market timing and sector rotation

  • Highlighting how to implement a wide selection of ETPs—from equity and fixed income to commodities and leveraged funds

  • Examining the fundamental differences between index-based ETPs

  • Introducing Index Strategy Boxes—a proven way to understand index construction that is the basis for how most ETPs are invested

  • And much more

As an added benefit, this book's appendixes offers an ETF Resource List—which will point you to other sources that discuss these structures—and a detailed Glossary to help you with industry-specific definitions.

The Updated Edition of The ETF Book has everything you need to develop a winning investment strategy. Each chapter is filled with new insights on different types of ETFs and practical advice on how to select and manage them. Reflecting the most recent changes in this field, the Updated Edition of The ETF Book will prepare you to build a solid portfolio of ETFs that will benefit you for years to come.

More About the Author

Richard Ferri is the founder of Portfolio Solutions, LLC (, a low-fee investment advisory firm based Troy, MI. Portfolio Solutions manages close to $1 billion in separately managed accounts for high-net-worth individuals, families, non-profit organizations, and corporate pension plans. The firm specializes in analyzing and using low-cost and tax-efficient index funds and ETFs to build wealth for clients.

Mr. Ferri earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science degree in Finance from Walsh College. He also holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Prior to joining the investment community in 1988, Rick served as an officer and jet pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now retired from the Marine Corps Reserve.

Customer Reviews

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This is a very good book and it is well organized.
I used this Larry's books to contrast and compare Rick's asset class recommendations to Larry Swedroe's recommendations.
Dale C. Maley
A good complete treatment by someone that seems honest, not-reckless, and on your side.
Shock Writer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Uphaus on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Let me say at the outset that I am NOT a professional investor, that I HAVE invested in individual securities as well as mutual funds for forty years, that I now, as a retiree, restrict myself to annuity income and mutual fund investments (mostly passive), and that I have not yet purchased ETFs, though Ferri's book convinces me ETFs could perform a useful function in my portfolio.

If, like me, you have not yet invested in ETFs but want to know how they are constructed, how they function, and what role they might serve in your portfolio, then Rick Ferri's book is the FIRST place you should go for a comprehensive guide to understanding ETFs.

Ferri's book can be read in, or through depending on the reader's interests. By this I mean his book divides into four free-standing, but continuous, parts. The first part deals with ETF Basics--the history, mechanics, and potential benefits and drawbacks. Part Two, a real eye-opener for this reader, focuses on index construction and provides an index strategy box akin to how Morningstar analyses mutual funds. Part Three broadens the discussion to styles and choices--from broad domestic/global indexes to equivalents of slice and dice strategies. Part Four shows, in detail, how investors can incorporate ETFs into their asset allocation plan--whether they are inclined to passive, active, or a combination of portfolio strategies.

Thankfully, Rick Ferri goes to great pains to communicate clearly with his readers. To my mind, he has no axe to grind, although as a professional portfolio manager he advocates passive investing. Ferri provides many alternative portfolios (passive, active, combo) spread along a continuum of life-cycle investing.

It certainly speaks well of this fine book that it receives the ringing endorsements of the likes of Don Phillips, David Blitzer, and Anthony Rochte, Senior Managing Director of State Street Global Advisors. Robert Uphaus
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By LocalIndian on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rick Ferri has done it again. I got this book as I was looking actively for a good "introductory" book on ETFs. I already read Rick's "All About Asset Allocation" and like it very much. So I did not hesitate to preorder this book.

This book does a great job in INTRODUCING indexing and ETF's. It covers a lot of ground about various types of ETFs their pros and cons. There are lot of finer points spread throughout the book which are interesting for people starting new and are hard to come across on web for an average web user like me - eg: pros and cons of Vanguard ETF (VIPER) structure where its ETFs are another class of shares of its index mutual funds. I would have rated this 5 stars except for some repetition of text multiple times in multiple chapters about types of indexing etc in Parts II and Part III of the book. Model portfolios section could have been dealt better.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love ETF investing. This book is a must-read if you're interested in investing in ETFs. You'll no doubt want to read other books too. But this is the cornerstone of the library of the ETF investor.

The book is well written and arranged nicely. It's a good read and a great reference.

It gives you some sample life cycle investing portfolios, which I find most useful.

You'll find the benefits and the drawbacks of ETF investing. You'll learn about the different types of ETFs.

You'll also learn about the different management styles available.

I would have liked more information on fixed income investing. I find there's not much available on that. I also find there isn't anything about defensive investing, which we need right now.

There is help with asset allocation but I suspect you'll want to buy a book that devotes itself entirely to that subject.

I keep the book near my left hand as I readjust my portfolio and when I'm considering a fund.

I highly recommend this great book.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dale C. Maley VINE VOICE on March 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Rick Ferri's books, and his postings on the Diehards dot Org website (Amazon does not allow links or web site addresses in these reviews).

I am also a big fan of Larry Swedroe's books, and his postings on the Diehards dot Org website.

I used this Larry's books to contrast and compare Rick's asset class recommendations to Larry Swedroe's recommendations.

Both Rick and Larry agree on which asset classes investors should use in their portfolios with a few exceptions.

Rick is ok with using Vanguard's Total Bond fund (VBMFX). Larry does not like Vanguard's Total Bond fund (VBMFX) because it contains 33% Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). Larry would recommend other Vanguard short term bond funds which do not include any MBS like the Short Term Bond Index fund (VBISX) and the Intermediate Term Bond Index fund (VBIIX).

I already knew Larry was an advocate of including commodities in the form of PCRIX in your portfolio. Rick Ferri contends that commodities should not be included in your portfolio because they lower your portfolio return. Rick contends commodity funds have 0% return, have high expense ratios, and poor tax efficiency.

Larry also disagrees with two other Ferri recommendations, high yield (junk) bonds like Vanguard's High Yield fund (VWEHX) and emerging market bonds like Payden's PYEMX. Larry contends the rewards of junk bonds are not worth the risk and emerging market bonds behave too much like stocks.

My hat is off to Rick for the tremendous number of hours it must have taken to compile the exhaustive data on ETF's for the book. Rick is one of the few people brave enough to make long term forecasts for asset class returns as well.
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