DEFINITION of 'iShares'

A large provider of exchange-traded funds, managed by the investment management company BlackRock. iShares, Inc. funds began trading in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2000, and are listed on major exchanges such as the NYSE Euronext, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Nasdaq and NYSE Arca. In 2010, iShares, Inc. represented 46% of the U.S. ETF market, with over 440 funds and excess of $480 billion in assets under management.


One example of ETFs are shares of a portfolio intended to track a market index. Owning shares of an ETF differs from owning shares of an index mutual fund in that ETFs are traded like stocks and can be more tax efficient and cost efficient. For example, iShares' S&P 500 fund, IVV, is designed to track the performance of the S&P 500.

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  1. How can I buy an S&P 500 fund?

    In 1976, Vanguard introduced individual investors to the first mutual fund designed to mimic the S&P 500 Index. Today ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between iShares, VIPERs and Spiders?

    iShares, VIPERs and spiders each represent different exchange-traded fund (ETF) families. In other words, an individual company ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can mutual funds invest in IPOs?

    Mutual funds can invest in initial public offerings (IPOS). However, most mutual funds have bylaws that prevent them from ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does index trading increase market vulnerability?

    The rise of index trading may increase the overall vulnerability of the stock market due to increased correlations between ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>

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