Checking In With The ETF Industry's Growth, With Help From The SEC | ETF Trends

The exchange traded fund (ETF) growth scope has widened due to a streamlined global regulatory regime on the way and the constant emergence of new products to keep competition at its stiffest.

By the end of 2007 there were 1,171 primary ETF listings on 41 exchanges around the world, up 64% from the year before.

Meanwhile, issuers were expected to launch 547 ETFs this year, and 399 of those were U.S.-listed, with 90 in Europe. In other words, the ETF popularity and proliferation is not going to end anytime soon, report Matt Frostenhausler and Joe Grainger for Investment News.

ETF assets under management are at $797 billion as of the end of last year, a 41% increase from 2006. Average daily trading volume is up 143% to $60 billion, up from $25 billion. Numbers aside, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to allow ETFs to operate without having to obtain individual exemptive orders. Once this is completely granted, the rule change will streamline the process even more.

All of these are pluses for investors because the competition is so stiff, the pressure will be on to keep performance up to par. ETF managers will be judged on returns, liquidity and expense ratios, all good news for investors.

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.