The iPath combine the investment aspects of bonds and exchange-traded funds (ETF). The first iPath securities were issued in 2006 and are registered under the Securities Act of 1933, because they're issued by banks, not by investment companies.
The iPath trade close to their intra-day trading value and usually have a 30-year maturity. Notwithstanding they might be redeemed (with a minimum of 50,0000 units) every Thursday- unlike the daily redemption feature of ETFs. They might additionally be traded on the secondary market.
Although an iPath security might be linked to an underlying market index its value might change even if there's little or no movement in the index, in the event that the credit rating of the issuer changes, e.g. if the issuer receives a rating downgrade.