Happy Birthday SPY!

This post is in two parts. Part 1 – what’s up with ETFs this week. and Part 2 – what’s next with ETFs…

According to the Wall Street Journal, the first Exchange Traded Fund, composed of the S&P 500 index, began trading this week 25 years ago, in 1993. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (symbol SPY) was the first opportunity for an investor to access the entire S&P 500 with one share purchase. Originally conceived as a product for sophisticated investors, it is now an large of many investment accounts.

Today, ETFs continue to grow as a category and are estimated as some $4.8 Trillion in assets worldwide among some 7,200 products. Mutual funds are a bigger deal partly because they have been around longer (since before the founding of the United States of America republic) and because all manner of financial services company can build and offer an in-house product without a particularly high overhead.