Self-directed investors may already have an online stockbroking account; either SIPP, ISA or both. If not yet, then Monevator offers an excellent comparison of the two-dozen options. If you want more help, I’m available.

Before self-directed investors buy ETF, they want of course to browse the range, compare the different options, and choose the one nearest their purpose. Anyone who has tried will know that’s more easily said than done, because at the London Stock Exchange there are now nearly 1,800 ET products; not all of them suitable for retail investors.

That’s where dexterity‘s value begins. I’ve collated a spreadsheet of ETF I judge suitable for retail investors. You can filter and sort 470 ETF in any permutation:

  • from the oldest (Sep 04) to the newest,
  • replication – physical or synthetic,
  • income – distributed or capitalised,
  • 3 classes of asset – bond, commodity and equity,
  • 4 locations of domicile – Ireland, France, Jersey and Luxembourg,
  • 6 types of “smart beta” factor,
  • 8 continents – including World,
  • 13 ETF issuers – from Amundi to Wisdom Tree,
  • 44 geographical sectors from Africa to Vietnam,
  • 53 index providers, Bank of America to Wilderhill,
  • 90 investment focuses, from agriculture to water.

I revise the list every month, adding new funds that fit the criteria (see below), and deleting the occasional fund that closes. Here is an extract. If you’d like the complete list, you’re welcome to buy either a single copy (£25), or to subscribe to my Autocue service (price on application).

To collate the table of retail-suitable ETF; in this order, I deleted:

  • inverse and leveraged funds, because they carry risk unsuitable for the retail market,
  • ET Notes and Commodities, because they carry risk not necessary for retail investors,
  • funds in a currency other than GBP, provided the same issuer (e.g. iShares) offers the very same fund traded in sterling as well,
  • funds offering commodities other than in a broad basket of energy, soft and metals (precious as well as industrial),
  • funds I judge a retail investor would declare “too complicated for me!”

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