I’m finishing up at the World Money Show here in Orlando, FL, where there are 12,000 registered attendees.  Most are individual investors who make their own investment decisions. 

The number of exchange traded fund (ETF) panels and workshops has doubled since last year’s conferences, which highlight the growing popularity of ETFs.  When asked, half of the attendees in the audience currently invest in ETFs and roughly half were interested in learning more about them and how they can enhance their personal portfolios.

Some observations made at the conference include the following:

  • Many more investors are turning to international ETFs, China was especially popular;
  • There questions about hedging the falling dollar using currency and commodity ETFs;
  • ETF users are becoming more knowledgeable about the different ways providers construct indexes.  One panel included Rydex representative, Ed Lopez, discussing equal weighted ETFs and PowerShares’ Bobby Brooks explained dynamic indexing;
  • Attendees were not concerned in the least with the growing number of ETFs, in fact they welcomed them;
  • Investors are disenchanted with performance of actively managed funds, they like the transparency and low fees ETFs have to offer;
  • There is growing demand for more information, news, stories and statistics on the current ETFs offered;
  • A handful of attendees asked if there are any ETF only investment conferences.

I talked with many people who had a lot of great, valid questions about ETFs.  Through our discussions found quite a few investors who are switching from individual stocks and actively managed funds to ETFs.  During the panels and workshops, even more questions were raised and investors were getting satisfactory answers from the experts.

This conference reiterated the growing interest in ETFs and the organizes of The Money Shows are committed to more ETF programming in the future.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.