The Fifth Person was recently invited by Bursa Malaysia to attend an exchange traded fund (ETF) workshop. The workshop — Introduction to ETFs and Portfolio Solutions using ETFs — was delivered by Chong Lee Choo, Director of Innovation Lab & Alternative Investment from Affin Hwang Asset Management.

Just a bit of a background, there were 6,478 ETFs listed in 2018 globally. As of 7 September 2018, the U.S. made up about 70% of the US$5.3 trillion global ETF market, followed by the UK and Japan at 7.4% and 5.8% respectively. The value of ETF assets globally are expected to reach US$12 trillion by 2023.

Here are 14 things I learned from the Bursa ETF Workshop 2019:

1. ETFs are similar to unit trust funds where investors pool their funds to invest in a portfolio of assets. These assets can range from bonds (corporate, government, and high yield) to equities