I am considering investing in ETFs, mostly to learn, and without any formal financial education. If this matters for the question, I am French living in France.
I started to read about ETFs and found a long list of "recommended" brokers (Interactive Brokers, Trade Republic, Degiro, ...). All of them offer the ETFs I am interested in (the very basic ones such as iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF, iShares Global Clean Energy UCITS ETF, ...)
I understand of course that the market is volatile and that I can lose what I invest because of that market. I would like to understand to which extent I own what I invested in.
Specifically, If I invest in an ETF, do I have ownership on that ETF (similar to how I can own shares), or is it just an instrument that belongs to (either the manager or the broker)?
Even more specifically, say the following happens - would I still own the ETF?
- the Issuer (iShares/BlackRock for instance) goes bankrupt
- the Broker (Trade Republic for instance) goes bankrupt
The reason for my question is that I would like to understand if the choice of a broker should be driven exclusively by their costs (how much will it cost me to buy 1 EFT, and then how much will it cost me to sell 1 EFT) and possibly the comfort of their interface/payment means/ ..., or whether I should also worry about their long term existence? (because if they go down, so go my investments)
Note: I would like to highlight that I understand the market risk (at least I know that I can lose and gain and that it goes in waves, and that the past is not an indication of the future, etc.) but worry about the intermediates.