S&P 500 ETF Beats Berkshire as Stock Picking Wanes: Survey

The $108 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose to the second most-popular stock pick among high net worth investors after Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) as the exchange traded fund scored higher than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), according to an annual survey.

“Individual stock-picking is shrinking a little bit,” Michael Sonnenfeldt, founder and chairman of New York-based Tiger 21, told Bloomberg News. “If you want public-equity exposure it’s dramatically cheaper and generally more effective to do it through ETFs.” [Wider ETF Usage Fueling Fee War]

Tiger 21 is peer-to-peer learning network for affluent investors.

Its annual survey revealed U.S. millionaires would rather track the market with SPY rather than try to beat it with high-fee hedge funds, Bloomberg reports. ETFs are baskets of securities that trade like individual stocks.

Index funds and ETFs were rated higher than hedge funds and mutual funds, while 23% of Tiger 21 members said ETFs are their preferred method for stock investing, up from 19% last year. Hedge funds fell to 21% from 27%, according to the article.

The move to ETFs and index funds shows that members see the market stabilizing and acting more normal, Sonnenfeldt told Bloomberg.

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own SPY.

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