The overall data demonstrates a clear trend towards stabilization in the usage of new exchange traded funds in 2013. However, it is important to get an idea for how these products are being used in RIA client portfolios. While using ETFs as core portfolio positions was the dominant role cited by RIAs, there are still a wide variety of ways in which ETFs are being deployed. These include uses like sector plays and satellite positions to alternative exposure and directional market positions. This suggests that the versatility of ETFs, and exchange traded products in general, is a significant factor in the growth of the asset class over the last two decades. It is possible that in future surveys we will see material numbers of advisors using these securities for purposes other than those included in this year’s report.
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