NAV Doesn’t Mean Free: ETFs vs. Mutual Funds

The following was authored by Michael Barrer, Senior Associate of Capital Markets at WisdomTree. ETFs and mutual funds get compared constantly, and we have covered the topic numerous times in the past. Today we zoom in on one key difference between ETFs and mutual funds: how transactions are executed. Investors of mutual funds like the fact that the funds transact at net asset value (NAV), because they think they’re not paying the spread seen on-screen for ETFs. In fact, mutual funds, just like ETFs, are wrappers around baskets of securities. And just because a mutual fund transaction occurred at NAV, does not mean it