Open-end Funds vs Exchanged Traded Funds?

Quill hates open-end mutual funds for reasons I’ll let him explain. But I’ll trade 'em and have made good money doing so. E.g., yesterday, UHPIX offered me a 1-day, 3.11% gain. The day before, on another 1-day trade, I made 80 bps. So the money is there.

But as I was trying to set up a trade for today, I kept coming back to the fact that for any OE fund that can be traded, there’s at least one ETF and probably more. Also, since it’s mostly the same companies that are packaging the funds, the two versions mostly wiggle and waggle the same.

E.g., pull the holdings for UTPIX and XLU. The percentages of the underlying vary a bit. But to trade UTPIX is to trade XLU, and vice versa, with this diff. OE’s have single, EOD pricing, but ETFs can trade 'round the clock (some anyway). For sure, they trade continuously throughout the regular session, and contingent orders can be written for them. That means that risks are easier to manage. Also, though there are some inverse OEs, there are far more inverse ETFs, which is a tool that’s going to be increasingly needed in the coming months.

Yeah, yeah. Rather than use an inverse, one could sell the long version short. But three hassles arise. (1) Not all ETFs are available to borrow.
(2) The borrow fees can be truly abusive. (3) You’re responsible for paying the div.

What I like about OE’s is that it’s possible to buy in equal dollar amounts, whereas ETFs used to have to be bought in whole shares. In these days of fractional-share trading, that diff has become mute, with this exception. TD doesn’t offer fractional-share trading, nor does Schwab, --with the exception of the SP500 stocks-- and TD’s TOS platform is the one I prefer to use.


I was planning to roll out a serious trading campaign based using open-end mutual funds. But the easier path would be to use ETFs. Fortunately, the same charting templates and exit/entry rules can be used, both of which are just variations of Quill’s ‘Simple Simon Trading Method’, which I’ll leave it to him to explain again, as he has so graciously done so many times before in this forum and on the FAQ board.