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RIA Trend Report - Exchange Traded Funds: The Main Reasons Advisors Use ETFs

The cost advantage of ETFs continues to resonate with RIAs and appears to be an increasingly important factor in their usage.

Overall, our survey indicates that exchange traded funds remain popular investment vehicles, with only 15% of advisors indicating that they do not use ETFs for their clients, a level slightly below last year. The cost advantage of ETFs continues to resonate with RIAs and appears to be an increasingly important factor in their usage. Indeed, 69% of respondents indicate fees as the main reason to use ETFs, which is both the highest response rate to this question and the largest year-to-year increase among all answer options. Sector exposure, at 47% of respondents, is the second most common reason advisors use ETFs, but is down year-over-year. This may reflect equity markets that seem to be driven more by central bank policies than sector and industry fundamentals. Transparency, tracking error, taxes, and trading are also important to RIAs; each garnering the attention of between 26% and 39% of respondents. In total, the responses illustrate a wide variety of ETF characteristics that increasingly allow RIAs to customize the exposure that fits with their clients’ risk profiles and time horizons.

Read Next: Expected Change in the Use of ETFs in the Next Three Years 

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