Last updateTue, 19 Sep 2017 5pm

ETNs are not the same as ETFs


Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become wildly popular over the past decade or so, with current growth eclipsing that of more traditional mutual funds. Therefore, it is important not to confuse them with similarly named exchange-traded notes (ETNs). They are more different than similar, so it is important to understand both of them before making an investment decision in either.

Here’s a quick primer on ETFs: Like traditional mutual funds, an ETF represents a basket of assets such as stocks or bonds. Unlike a mutual fund, investors cannot buy ETF shares directly from an investment company. Instead, they buy them from other investors, just as with stocks. That has two implications:

Florist folds after long run at Rancho

Madison Ivy/special to the Town Crier
Just For You Florist closed earlier this month. Co-owner Jeff Bumgartner said grocery stores and internet sales made it tough to run a specialty store.

After more than a decade as a Los Altos stalwart, Just For You Florist closed earlier this month.

Owned by Jeff Bumgartner and Randy Ellis for 13 years, the flower shop shuttered after the duo decided not to renew their lease at their Rancho Shopping Center location.

Creativity on Main St.

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Andrew Cambouris, a former football lineman at Mountain View High School and Foothill College, now operates the creative agency Contrast DesignWorks in downtown Los Altos. He said his vision for the 15-person firm includes “having fun with what we do.”

For Andrew Cambouris, the best place to work for clients such as Oracle and PayPal is on Main Street in Los Altos.

The founder and creative director of Contrast DesignWorks chose his hometown as the base for his creative agency, the better to zoom between San Francisco and San Jose – and still be home in time for dinner.

Author tackles secret history of ubiquitous iPhone

Photos courtesy Little, Brown & Co.
Brian Merchant recently released a book that documents the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. Merchant is the grandson of Los Altos residents Joan and Al Merchant.

With more than 1 billion sold, the iPhone has profoundly changed the world as we know it in just 10 short years. Everywhere you look, users are staring at their screens. Some of us find it hard to function in today’s world without our little magic boxes close by.

“The iPhone isn’t just a tool; it’s the foundational instrument of modern life,” author Brian Merchant writes in his new best-seller, “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” (Little, Brown & Co., 2017).

Local resident finds opportunity in housing crisis

Courtesy of Sumant Pendharkar

Sumant Pendharkar has seen house values skyrocket since he moved to Los Altos in 1997, and he wants Los Altos residents to view the market increases as an opportunity, not a challenge.

Pendharkar, a financial adviser, recommends that people with high-value homes purchase a second home in the area – not as a vacation home, but as a home for their children.

What makes the Dow special?

When it’s time for a physical checkup, most people go to a general practitioner. Although an ear, nose and throat specialist would have more expertise in those particular organs, it’s your entire body that you want to evaluate.

Why isn’t it the same with the stock market? If you tune in to any news channel or pick up any newspaper, the one U.S. stock market benchmark you will inevitably find reported is the Dow Jones industrial average. Yet the Dow is not very representative of the market, or even of industrial stocks. So why has this benchmark become so ubiquitous as a stock market performance measure?

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