Financial Insights Blog

Mutual Funds vs ETFs

The only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and a never-empty laundry hamper.

Other than that, there are no such things as “sure things”.

This concept also holds true in the investment world. I don’t have to tell you twice – the stock market holds no guarantees. We can analyze, study, and track it until we are blue in the face, but at the end of the day, it is its own beast that we have zero control over.

With markets and economies, there are ALWAYS more questions than answers. Always. Because of this, it is important that we do not put all our eggs in one basket. Why? Well, that one basket alone cannot be trusted. There is no guarantee that the basket will not break, causing the eggs to roll out and crack on the pavement. As you might imagine, cracked eggs are detrimental to portfolio performance.

Different portions of the market perform in different ways and at different times, so it is helpful to ensure your portfolio encompasses a wide variety of investments. This is called diversification.

Two of the most common ways to diversify your portfolio are through the use of mutual funds and ETFs, or exchange-traded funds. These investment vehicles are bundles of securities – some combination of stocks, bonds, cash, and/or commodities – pooled together to accomplish a specific strategy or objective. Purchasing one mutual fund or ETF allows investors to buy tens to hundreds of different market positions with a single trade. Diversification is a tool that helps reduce risk while saving the trouble and expense of buying many individual securities a la carte. It’s one of the best ways to weather market ups and downs while maintaining the potential for growth.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between mutual funds and ETFs:

MUTUAL FUNDS ETFs
How are they managed? Most mutual funds are actively managed. Active mutual funds are managed by fund managers. Most ETFs are passive investments pegged to the performance of a particular index, like the S&P 500.
How are they traded? Mutual funds don’t trade until the end of the day at the close of the market. ETFs trade like stocks and are bought and sold on a stock exchange, experiencing price changes throughout the day.
What is the minimum investment? Minimum initial investments for mutual funds are normally a flat dollar amount and can be purchased in fractional shares. Because they trade like stocks, ETFs do not require a minimum initial investment and are purchased as whole shares.
What are some possible costs involved? Depending on the mutual fund, there may be sales charges, commissions, management fees, and operating expenses charged to the investor. Ask your advisor to outline these for you before investing. Depending on the ETF, there may be commissions, trade fees, management fees, and operating expenses charged to the investor. Oftentimes, operating expenses are lower on EFTs than mutual funds. Ask your advisor to outline these for you before investing.
What are some tax considerations? When the manager of the mutual funds makes a sale, that could potentially trigger a capital gain for shareholders.

Under active management, the redemption of shares can trigger a tax liability.

Since ETFs trade on the exchange and are passively managed, they oftentimes shield the investor from some capital gains.

Today, many Americans heavily rely on savings in their 401K plans to supplement Social Security in retirement. A good diversification strategy can be challenging to put in place for these investors because, oftentimes, workplace plans offer only a handful of investment options.

At Asset Strategies, we can help our clients select the best funds available in their plan that align with their goals and risk tolerance to ensure they are not only maximizing that benefit but also spreading their eggs out into many different baskets. If it is a 401k plan from a previous employer, it might be best to roll that out of the plan and into a customized IRA portfolio with greater diversification options.

Using mutual funds and ETFs when investing is a diversification method that can reduce your overall risk, but it is important to note that it can also provide you with multiple opportunities that you may have otherwise overlooked.

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Jump to: Background  |  Financial Philosophy  |  Personal Background

Background: Ryan was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He has led Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University since 2012 and attended Ramsey Solutions Financial Coach Master Training in 2016. Also, in 2016, Ryan started Nelson Financial Coaching to help clients improve their behavior with money. Ryan is an investment advisor representative and registered representative holding series 7 and 66 registrations with Western International Securities.

Financial Philosophy: Ryan believes in being a guide to help clients on their financial journey. Ryan enjoys teaching and encouraging others. He believes clients should only invest in something that they truly understand. “I want to listen and understand your story. I want to know why you want to invest your money and what your financial goals are. That way we can create a plan together.” Ryan believes that one size does not fit all. Each client is different and helping them create a plan is what drives him every day.

Personal Background: Ryan currently lives in Elkhorn, NE with his wife Courtney. They have 3 daughters Zoey, Harper, and Maggie. Ryan and Courtney enjoy leading FPU at their church. Ryan enjoys spending time with family, reading books, and cooking with friends.

Schedule Your Free, No-Obligation Zoom or Telephone Consultation

Schedule 10-15 minutes to learn a bit more about us here at Asset Strategies, understand our philosophy, and ask all of your financial questions. I hope that this introductory call will help you decide if we would be a good fit for you and your family.

Schedule Your Free, No-Obligation Zoom or Telephone Consultation

Schedule 10-15 minutes to learn a bit more about us here at Asset Strategies, understand our philosophy, and ask all of your financial questions. I hope that this introductory call will help you decide if we would be a good fit for you and your family.

Personal Background: Chrissie is a native of Nebraska, born and raised in Norfolk. She and her husband have 4 children, two boys and two girls. She loves to spend time with her family. Her favorite past time is cheering on the Huskers and her favorite hobby is running.

Personal Background: Mary is a native of Nebraska, born and raised in Wahoo. She and her husband have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. They thoroughly enjoy all of their antics and activities. In their “spare” time they also enjoy camping, golf, horseback riding, traveling and the Huskers.

Personal Background: Katherine is a native of Nebraska, born and raised in Aurora. After graduating from high school, she went on to study English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Katherine moved to Omaha in 2006 to be closer to family. In her spare time, Katherine enjoys spending time with family and friends, relaxing at her family’s farm, being outdoors, and is an avid fan of tennis.

Personal Background: Sarah is a native of Nebraska, born and raised in Omaha. She has come to accept the unpredictable weather Nebraska offers. Sarah loves spending time with her husband and three children, cheering for her favorite sports team (Huskers, Royals, Packers and Thunder), reading, cooking and being outdoors.

Personal Background: Anna was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She recently received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In her spare time, Anna enjoys spending time with her family and playing the guitar.

Jump to: Background  |  Financial Philosophy  |  Personal Background 

Background: If you had asked Mandy what she wanted to be when she was growing up, she would have said she wanted to be a dancer like her mom.  She never would have imagined herself following in her father’s footsteps instead, pursuing a career in the field of business.  After being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years and having personal experiences with her own financial advisors, she realized that this was the path for her.

Mandy has been in the industry since 2016.  Her undergraduate work was completed at The Master’s College, and she later earned her MBA from Bellevue University. She is an investment advisor representative and registered representative holding series 7 and 66 registrations with Western International Securities.  Mandy is a licensed fiduciary.

Financial Philosophy: As the common saying goes, “most people don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan” and Mandy understands that the topic of money is not generally something folks want to talk about.  Addressing one’s financial situation, for a variety of reasons, oftentimes gets pushed to the back burner.

Mandy enjoys educating her clients – ensuring they understand their investments and how they work.  She is passionate about building relationships, answering questions, and guiding her clients along the way.  She steps back and looks at the big picture, outlining a path for her clients to follow that leads them to their goals.  She is very passionate about this process, treats her client portfolios with the care and commitment she would her own, and finds her job extremely rewarding.

Personal Background: Mandy was born and raised in Montana. She has since traveled the world and now resides in Nebraska with her husband and three boys. She enjoys exercising, finding adventures outdoors with her family, and a good glass of wine over conversation with a friend.

Jump to: Background  |  Financial Philosophy  |  Personal Background  |  Quote

Background: Chadd Hoeft began his career in 1999 and co-founded Asset Strategies in 2002. Because of his experience, integrity, and professionalism, Chadd has been helping Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solutions fans with their investments for nearly 19 years. Chadd believes in the principles that Ramsey Solutions teaches and serves each client using those investment philosophies. Chadd is an investment advisor representative and registered representative holding series 6, 7, 63, & 66 registrations with Western International Securities.

Financial Philosophy: Chadd believes that the best approach in helping clients is to get to know them personally. “It is important to sit down with the prospective client and take time to learn who they are.” Chadd strives to understand their financial concerns to identify areas in which he can add value to their lives. The next step is to educate the client on the game plan that has been built. “It is the client’s money; they need to be educated on how their accounts are being invested.” Furthermore, Chadd’s goal is to serve his clients over the long-term. “Whether it is the accumulation phase or the distribution phase, we want to be here to help our clients make good decisions.”

Personal Background: Chadd was born in Grand Island, grew up in Omaha, and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His home is in Elkhorn with his wife Suzi, son Drew, daughter Campbell, and wheaten terrier, Wrigley. Chadd and his family’s Christian faith are very important to them. He happily serves on a couple of boards at their church. You’ll find Chadd spending time with family and friends and coaching Drew’s football, baseball, and basketball teams. He is an avid sports fan. If one of his favorite teams is playing, he will be watching with high interest.

"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

Jump to: Background  |  Financial Philosophy  |  Personal Background  |  Quote

Background: Justin grew up on a farm ranch in Southwest Nebraska. Justin began his career as an advisor in 2000 and co-founded Asset Strategies in 2002. As an Investment Advisor Representative with Western International Securities, Justin has been helping Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solutions fans with their investments for nearly 19 years because of his experience, integrity, and professionalism. Justin believes in sharing the same investment philosophies with his clients that Dave teaches on his program. He enjoys helping clients begin their journey to building wealth and helping clients manage the wealth they’ve already accumulated or inherited.

Financial Philosophy:

Justin tries to put himself in his client’s shoes when making recommendations. He values trusted and honest relationships, and that is the kind of advisor he wants to be for his clients. Additionally, Justin wants his clients to feel like they can come to him with all of their financial questions. “Whether it is about investing with us or making a personal financial decision outside of our company, I want my clients to feel comfortable talking to me about the decisions they are faced with.”

Justin is also knowledgeable and strives to educate his clients on the investing options they have. He does not believe “one size fits all”. “Each client has their own unique interests and situation, and I want to make sure my recommendations fit their individual goals.”

Personal Background: In his spare time, Justin enjoys coaching youth sports, reading, trips to the farm ranch, spending time with friends, and serving in his church. He lives in Plattsmouth, Nebraska with his wife Jenny, daughters Rachel and Ashleigh, and son Braden. Justin graduated from Hastings College with degrees in Business Administration and Economics. He is an investment advisor representative and registered representative and holds series 6, 7, 63 & 66 registrations.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."