On Thursday, June 23 2016, I attended the S&P Dow Jones Indices ETF Masterclass at downtown Toronto. This is the second year SPDJ hosts this kind of event and I attened both. Speakers are mainly from indices provider (SPDJ), ETF issuers, ETF strategists. The event was very well orgainized and informative.
Although I learned a lot at the product and technique level, for me the most important takeaway from this event is the confidence of the direction I have choosen: to be a subject matter expert of ETFs. We are fortunate to be in the North America where the ETF markets are more advanced than the rest of the world. There are more than 2500 ETFs, 170 providers and 800 strategists combined in US and Canada. The ecosystem is well developed. At the same time, the markets are still developing rapidly and have lots of potential. The future is bright and exciting.
To achieve the goal of becoming an ETF expert, at least 2 layers should be done.
Layer 1, digest the products. This is very time consuming but it is absolutely essential. You need to read through the documents, understand the methodologies. A good way to enhance understanding is to compare similar products and find out their differences.
Layer 2, use ETFs to build portfolios. After you mastered the characteristics of different products, you’ll move to the state of utilizing them. Build a low cost and well diversified ETF require knowledge, discipline and patience. There are many lures and traps. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
These are the focus of my self-learning plan in the second half of 2016.