Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the new kid on the investment block, and they pose the biggest competition to mutual funds and hedge funds. Below is a quick review of the stats:

  • Mutual Funds: As of June this year, there were 8,023 mutual funds, which is up from 6,684 at the end of 1997, according to Investor’s Business Daily. Mutual fund assets are at $11.9 trillion, which is up from $4.46 trillion in 1997. Shareholders own 290 million mutual fund accounts.
  • Hedge Funds: As of the end of June, there were 9,800 hedge funds, according to Hedge Fund Research. These lightly regulated funds have $1.7 trillion in assets, which is up from 2,990 funds and $368 billion in assets at the end of 1997.
  • ETFs: In 1997, there were only 19 ETFs with $6.7 billion in assets. As of June, there are more than 500 ETFs that hold $485.9 billion in assets.

Clearly, ETFs have a long way to go to catch up to their competitors. However, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come. It’ll be interesting to see what the numbers will show in 2017.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. 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.

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