I am thinking about investing my money in an ETF as they seem to be a relatively safe way to invest money over a long term (~20 years).

However, I don't like the "seem to be". Are there numbers on how many ETFs have been closed? How much money did investors lose? (Maybe grouped by type of ETF / by the index they tracked?)

  • 1
    "seem to be a relatively safe way to invest money over a long term ", are you asking about a fund going bankrupt, or are you worried about preservation of value? Apr 23, 2019 at 10:13
  • I'm asking about both. I see going bankrupt as one extreme way of loss of value Apr 23, 2019 at 14:12
  • I think a better question is how likely is it that a large, well-run ETF closes. There are a lot of smaller ETFs for niche investing that are much more likely to close down, but if you are looking to invest in index ETFs then you probably don't care about those.
    – minou
    Apr 23, 2019 at 14:35
  • 2
    There are ETFs for all sorts of risky investment strategies. Knowing how many risky ETFs have closed doesn't address the relative safety of SPY or VOO.
    – quid
    Apr 23, 2019 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


There are several reasons why ETFs close:

  1. The issuer is in financial difficulty

  2. Assets under management are low

  3. The securities that comprise the ETF perform poorly

The ETF may liquidate or delist. If it liquidates, you'll receive cash distributions equal to the NAV less the liquidation cost. If it delists without liquidating the portfolio, it will trade trade OTC where it's likely to be far less liquid with much wider B/A spreads.

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