Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Exchange-Traded


Full Definition of Exchange-Traded

An instrument that trades on an organized exchange is said to be exchange-traded. Examples of exchange-traded instruments include:

  • most large-capitalization stocks
  • futures
  • standardized options on stocks or futures
  • some corporate bonds
  • certain investment funds, called exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

For most of the above instruments, the alternative to being exchange-traded is to trade over-the-counter (OTC). For example, penny stocks trade over-the-counter. Forwards are over-the-counter derivatives that can be used in place of futures, albeit with possible credit risk. There is no over-the-counter alternative to ETFs. For them, the off-exchange alternative would be open-ended mutual funds, shares of which are continually issued and redeemed by the sponsor at the end-of-day net asset value based on investor demand.

Being exchange-traded has a number of advantages. Exchanges facilitate price transparency and liquidity. Exchange-traded derivatives are standardized, which reduces legal expenses and risk. Exchanges can facilitate mechanisms for mitigating settlement risk, such as margining and clearing houses, although similar solutions are possible in over-the-counter markets as well. Finally, exchange-traded markets tend to be better regulated than over-the-counter alternatives, which reduces the risk of abuse or fraud.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Exchange-Traded. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
October 05, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Exchange-Traded. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: October 05, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Exchange-Traded. Retrieved October 05, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Exchange-Traded are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 29th December, 2021 | 0 Views.