ETNs can offer investment exposure to market sectors and asset classes that may be difficult to achieve in a cost-effective way with other types of investments. ETNs can also act as an effective hedging tool.
An ETN allows individual investors to buy an obligation, which is traded on an Exchange. ETNs may be linked to a wide variety of assets. Today there are many types of ETNs linked to indices and/or single reference assets based on a variety of products such as commodity futures (e.g., energy, grains, industrial metals, livestock, and petroleum), foreign currencies (e.g., Euro, yen), and equities (grouped by such categories as industry sector, strategy or geographic location).
ETNs are similar to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in that they are listed on an Exchange and can be bought and sold throughout the trading day. The issuer of an ETN is obligated to deliver the index or asset performance (less fees) in cash upon early repurchase or maturity. Early repurchase of an ETN generally may be initiated by an investor, when tendering a sizeable minimum amount of securities as specified in the prospectus (either dollar value, such as two million dollars, or number of notes, such as 50,000 notes). Early repurchase may be elected on either a daily or weekly basis, as provided in the prospectus. It is also important to note that the early repurchase feature does not eliminate the credit risk associated with this type of investment. Early repurchase is not available to investors for less than the specified minimum. It is important to review the relevant prospectus on this point, since this could have an impact on an ETN’s liquidity.