With thousands of ETFs outstanding, and more being added every day, an important starting point for navigating the ETF universe is to use a filtering mechanism to narrow your options. The main <FUND> page provides a search engine and screening tools that you can use to find ETFs that focus on a particular asset class, market sector or geographic location. Once you have used these filters to narrow your ETF universe down to a manageable number of funds, you can then use Bloomberg's other tools to begin analyzing those ETFs. Evaluating ETFs
As with most other asset classes, the best place to begin your evaluation of an ETF is by reviewing the description function (<DES>.) This function offers a wealth of information, including what index the ETF tracks, which exchange the ETF is listed on, and the contact info for the ETF provider. The description pages also offer details such as the bid-ask spread, the market capitalization of the ETF and the average daily trading volume which can be used for evaluating how liquid the ETF in question might be.

SEE: A Guide To ETF Liquidation

Additional pages within the description function provide guidance about the holdings of an ETF. The basic page view shows the top ten holdings, while a submenu allows you to access the full holdings. This tool can be useful when evaluating similar ETFs (for example, two large cap stock funds), so that you can see how much overlap there may be between the two funds.

The holdings of the ETF are also aggregated by asset class, sector and geography. This information can be particularly valuable when evaluating market sectors with multiple index providers. For example, in the emerging market space, different indexes might have vastly different country or sector weightings, so by looking at the geographic and sector breakouts for different ETFs you can see which fund better provides the exposure you are looking for.

Figure 2 - Description function

Next: How To Analyze ETFs With Bloomberg: Comparing ETFs »

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