Getting Smart On ETFs

Getting Smart On ETFs

One of the most common questions I get is, 'where can I find out more?' So here it is: my reading/listening list.

Reviewed by: Dave Nadig
Edited by: Dave Nadig

[Editor's note: Join's Managing Director Dave Nadig and Editor-in-Chief Drew Voros on Thursday, April 26, at 1:00 p.m. CT for our ETF 101 Live webinar.]

ETFs are an investment nerd’s dream come true. I say this with nothing but love and affection, as an avowed nerd myself. ETFs cover every major asset class in the world, and themselves have subtle nuances that reward really digging under the hood and learning how the sausage is made.

If you’re just beginning your ETF journey, it’s pretty easy to point you to the basics. We have a whole education section here at, and, Editor-in-Chief Drew Voros and I will be hosting an ETF 101 Live webinar on Thursday, April 26, going through these basics: how creation/redemption works, and why almost everything cool about ETFs grows from there. I also host a weekly Live! session, where you can ask any kind of ETF question you want, no matter how basic or arcane.

But day to day, most of us aren’t boning up on fund accounting rules and reading prospectuses—we’re exploring the intersections of politics, economics, markets, and yes, the structures we use to access them, like ETFs. So I’m here to help with focusing on the right stuff.

Here are the resources I find most valuable on a day-to-day/week-to-week basis. Consider it a glimpse into my bookmark bar, minus the Spotify playlists.


My lizard brain can’t slow down enough on a run or a bike ride to just not do anything; thankfully, there are some great investment-related podcasts out there to fill the space between my ears.

ETF Prime   

Formerly "The ETF Store Show," and newly rebranded, ETF Prime has hosts Nate Geraci, Conor Kelly and Jason Lank. They aren’t just ETF guys—they’re actual advisors who put ETFs to use in portfolios for their clients. One of the longest-running ETF-related podcasts out there, they feature regular guests and dig into everything trending in the ETF space, whether it’s bitcoin, cannabis or just plain old tax-efficient equities.


Hosted by Bloomberg’s resident ETF Expert, Eric Balchunas, and co-host Joel Weber, this has Bloomberg’s normal high level of production values, and digs each week into a juicy ETF topic for 30 minutes. Given that much of Balchunas’ work is now behind the Bloomberg terminal paywall, it’s pretty much the only way to get his regular insights outside his weekly ETF IQ TV show on Bloomberg TV.

Masters in Business

Also on Bloomberg, this is Barry Ritholtz’s interview show, and it’s just the best. It’s not always investment related, but in the past he’s hosted folks like superadvisor Ric Edelman, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio and Nobel Laureate Bill Sharpe. Ritholtz always seems to carry an infectious enthusiasm into every interview, making every episode entertaining and informative.

Behind the Markets

Ostensibly a Wharton School jam, this is WisdomTree’s Jeremy Schwartz and Jeremy Siegel digging into topics of note. Whether it’s a deep dive on high-frequency trading or just trying to tease out where we are in the market cycle, it’s always smart.



Meb Faber:

Meb Faber runs Cambria Investments, a small ETF issuer. But Meb’s writing and podcast are the real gems here. He’s irreverent, always willing to call BS on anyone, and always calling it like he sees it when it comes to the markets.

Ritholtz Wealth Management:

The advisory firm that bears Barry Ritholtz’s name (from Masters in Business, above) has also become one of the absolute gems of market commentary on the internet. Barry, Josh Brown, Michael Batnick, Ben Carlson, Tony Isola and Kris Venne all write their own blogs, each with their own personality and take on the markets. All of it’s pretty much must-reading, but good luck keeping up.

Alpha Architect:

Wes Grey and Jack Vogel run the blog at Alpha Architect, and also have a podcast of their own. The gems here are the deep dives into quant topics from a wide variety of contributing authors.

Abnormal Returns:

Abnormal Returns has been at the investment blog thing for a long time and often posts great in-depth articles. The huge value to me, however, is their regular “links” articles. When I’m really short on time, I just scan those, confident that if they’ve missed a story, it probably wasn’t that important to start with.

Issuer Blogs

Most issuers have a blog where you can read about new products. The best have great insights into how ETFs actually get used by advisors and investors, and bring strong market commentary to the fore as well. In no particular order, I regularly read Vanguard’s, BlackRock’s, State Street’s and WisdomTree’s.


Here at, we see the ETF-focused advisor as our core constituency. RIA Biz is probably the best site out there for keeping tabs on what’s important to this community, whether it’s technology, investment products or regulation.

Barron’s Focus on Funds:

A bit of an inside-baseball source for the funds industry, over the years, this column has been written by some of the best in the business, and it’s currently under the steady hand of Crystal Kim, with ample guest contributions. Pieces tend to be short and to the point, and occasionally break interesting news.

CNBC Trader Talk:

I no longer keep the TV on all day, so checking in with Bob Pisani’s regular blog is where I get my salacious inside-the-market tidbits.

Got another great resource? Toss it in the comments below, or you can reach me on Twitter @DaveNadig, or at [email protected]. I hope you’ll join us in two weeks for our ETF 101 session, or this coming Thursday for Live!.

Prior to becoming chief investment officer and director of research at ETF Trends, Dave Nadig was managing director of Previously, he was director of ETFs at FactSet Research Systems. Before that, as managing director at BGI, Nadig helped design some of the first ETFs. As co-founder of Cerulli Associates, he conducted some of the earliest research on fee-only financial advisors and the rise of indexing.