By MJ Lytle, Tabula – The ETF market was born to deliver passive exposure to baskets of assets. The first ETFs tracked broad equity indices. Because these funds could be bought and sold like equities, they were traded by cash equity desks and sold by equity salespeople. Equity indices had existed for a century and the underlying securities were liquid with daily prices and closing auctions. Equity ETFs were simple, efficient, easy to price and easy to trade. The only real question for a provider was which equity indices would be most relevant to investors.