ETF Facts - Canadian Securities Administrators (2024)

Thinking of investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs)? Read the ETF Facts first!

Take the time to read the ETF Facts to find out more about the ETF before you invest.

Since December 2018, your dealer (the firm) is required to deliver the ETF Facts to you no later than midnight on the second business day following the purchase of ETF securities. You can also consult the ETF Facts on the website of the company offering the fund, or simply ask your adviser for a copy.

What is the ETF Facts?

The ETF Facts is a four-page document that summarizes key information about an ETF in a simple, accessible and easily comparable format. It is designed to help you make an informed decision about your investment by including information such as a fund’s investments, risk rating, past performance and the costs associated with owning it.

The ETF Facts are an opportunity to have a conversation with your registered investment adviser about your investments. You may want to discuss how a particular ETF would fit within your portfolio or how certain features of the ETF, such as its fees and expenses, compare to other ETFs.

What Information is in the ETF Facts?

Here are a few sections of the ETF Facts you should pay attention to:

Quick Facts:

Includes information such as the start date and size of the fund, as well as the ETF’s management expense ratio. The management expense ratio, or MER, is a combination of an ETF’s management fee and its operating expenses.

Trading Information:

Provides information about the stock exchange where the fund is traded, the ticker symbol used to identify it and the currency in which it is traded.

Pricing Information:

This section provides quick information about the price of the ETF units.Theaverage bid-ask spreadis the difference between the price that a buyer is willing to pay and the price that a seller is willing to accept.

What does the ETF invest in?

This section provides a snapshot of how the ETF’s investments are allocated. It may also detail the particular index it is attempting to replicate. You will be able to quickly see the fund’s current top ten investments as well as the investment mix of the ETF’s investment portfolio. This information can help give you a sense of how diversified the ETF is. Depending on the type of the fund, this breakdown can be by industry, asset class or geographic location.


If the ETF makes money, it may make payments to investors called “distributions.” The ETF Facts document will tell you how often distributions are made. Talk to your adviser to discuss how to manage any distributions you may receive (including interest, dividend or capital gains).Distributions are not guaranteed.

How risky is it?

All investments have a risk rating ranging from low to high. An ETF with a low risk rating can still lose money. ETFs do not provide any guarantees of future performance. As with any investment, you might not get back the money you invested. An ETF’s risk rating can change over time. It’s important to understand the risks and circ*mstances that could affect the ETF’s performance so that you can choose an ETF that is suitable for you. Additional information about the risk rating and risk factors is included in the ETF’s prospectus.

How has the ETF performed?

This section shows how the ETF’s units have performed in each of the past 10 years (or in each of the years that have elapsed since the ETF’s start date, if the fund is less than 10 years old).

Trading ETFs:

This section explains how ETFs are traded and includes information about pricing and orders. ETFs have two sets of prices: market price and net asset value (NAV). They buy and sell on exchanges at market prices that can change throughout the trading day. Market price can be affected by supply, demand and the value of ETF investment holdings. NAV is calculated after the close of each trading day and reflects the value of an ETF’s investments at that point in time.

Who is this ETF for?

This section explains what types of investors may be suited for the ETF. You and your adviser should consider its holdings, performance and risks to help determine if the fund is suitable for you.

How much does it cost?

This section shows a more detailed breakdown of the fees and expenses you would pay to buy, own and sell units of the ETF. For example, you may have to pay your brokerage firm a commission every time you buy or sell ETF units.

The ETF pays management fees and operating expenses. While you don’t pay these expenses directly, they affect you because they reduce the fund’s returns.

If you don’t fully understand the ETF Facts, talk to your registered investment adviser. Make sure you understand the investment before committing to it.

ETF Facts - Canadian Securities Administrators (2024)


ETF Facts - Canadian Securities Administrators? ›

ETFs have two sets of prices: market price and net asset value (NAV). They buy and sell on exchanges at market prices that can change throughout the trading day. Market price can be affected by supply, demand and the value of ETF investment holdings.

Who regulates ETFs in Canada? ›

How are ETFs regulated? Like mutual funds and other investments, ETFs in Canada are regulated by the securities commissions within each province or territory.

What are the characteristics of ETFs in Canada? ›

ETFs are traded throughout the day on an exchange at market-determined prices, just like individual securities. In contrast, mutual fund units are bought and sold directly through the fund company at the fund's net asset value (NAV) at the end of each trading day.

Who are the ETF industry leaders? ›

Key Takeaways

Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street dominate the ETF market with the most offerings.

Who is the largest ETF issuer in the world? ›


What is the structure of ETF in Canada? ›

In Canada, ETFs are legally organized as a mutual fund trust with the trust units listed and traded on stock exchanges like an individual stock. ETFs come in a number of investment styles and can be actively or passively managed, mirroring an index.

Who regulates the Canadian securities industry? ›

Securities regulators from each of the 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada have teamed up to form the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The CSA protects Canadian investors from unfair, improper, or fraudulent practices and fosters fair and efficient capital markets.

How are ETFs taxed in Canada? ›

In Canada, 50% of capital gains are subject to tax and need to be included in the investor's taxable income. Canadians qualify for dividend tax credits that are intended to compensate them for income tax paid by the underlying Canadian companies the ETF has invested in.

Are ETFs tax efficient in Canada? ›

ETFs are treated the same as conventional open-end mutual funds for tax purposes. Investors generally pay taxes on income and capital gains distributions during the life of the investment, as well as on any capital gains generated on the sale of their ETF units.

What is the difference between index funds and ETF Canada? ›

ETF: An Overview. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds are similar in many ways but ETFs are considered to be more convenient to enter or exit. They can be traded more easily than index funds and traditional mutual funds, similar to how common stocks are traded on a stock exchange.

Who is the largest ETF custodian? ›

Largest ETFs: Top 100 ETFs By Assets
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETF$372,806,000.00
QQQInvesco QQQ Trust Series I$245,272,000.00
VEAVanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF$127,148,000.00
VUGVanguard Growth ETF$114,525,000.00
96 more rows

Who manages ETF funds? ›

ETFs are passively managed. The purpose of an ETF is to match a particular market index, leading to a fund management style known as passive management. Passive management is the chief distinguishing feature of ETFs, and it brings a number of advantages for investors in index funds.

Who is the largest investor in ETF? ›

BlackRock's iShares is the largest provider of ETFs as calculated by assets under management. Other major ETF providers include Vanguard, State Street, Invesco, and Charles Schwab.

What is the number one traded ETF? ›

Most Popular ETFs: Top 100 ETFs By Trading Volume
SymbolNameAvg Daily Share Volume (3mo)
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust73,029,742
TQQQProShares UltraPro QQQ72,957,648
SOXLDirexion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x Shares71,244,563
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund47,487,797
96 more rows

What is the most famous ETF? ›

Most Popular ETFs by AUM
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust$363.23B
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF$300.18B
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETF$288.78B
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF$286.59B
6 more rows

What is the most expensive ETF? ›

100 Highest Expense Ratio ETFs
SymbolNameExpense Ratio
BIZDVanEck BDC Income ETF11.17%
VPCVirtus Private Credit Strategy ETF9.72%
LBOWHITEWOLF Publicly Listed Private Equity ETF6.82%
PBDCPutnam BDC Income ETF6.79%
96 more rows

What is the difference between CSA and Iiroc? ›

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. IIROC is the pan-Canadian self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and their trading activity in Canada's debt and equity markets.

Are ETFs insured in Canada? ›

Are ETFs (exchange traded funds) eligible for CIPF coverage? Yes, if the ETF securities are held by a member firm on behalf of an eligible client, the client's ETF securities are protected by CIPF. Investing in an ETF gives an investor “units” or “shares” in the fund.

Does Canada have a federal securities regulator? ›

Canada does not have a federal securities regulator as other major capital markets do. Rather, each province and territory has its own securities regulator and its own set of laws, regulations, rules and policies.

Does Canada have a national securities regulator? ›

Canada has no securities regulatory authority at the federal government level. Instead, each province and territory has a securities commission or equivalent authority and legislation.

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