I just returned from the 13th Annual Super Bowl of Indexing in Phoenix, AZ, the largest indexing and exchange traded fund (ETF) conference in the industry.
We’re coming off one of the worst years in decades for the markets and the financial services industry has been pretty beat up in this downturn. Yet, it was heartening to see that the general mood at the conference was upbeat.
A big part of that is because ETFs have show positive asset flow year-to-date. While there’s been volatility in the markets, it has given ETFs a chance to really shine.
“Investors have been given tools to better navigate that volatility, with long and short funds and taking advantage of options strategies,” says Albert Neubert, executive director at IMN, the conference’s organizer.
The major theme this year has been risk management.
“Index investing, especially with ETF, has allowed investors and advisors to better control risk,” Neubert says.
I’m feeling pretty good about ETFs and the industry at large for 2009. There were a lot of people at the conference, and they were demonstrating genuine enthusiasm and optimism about what awaits next year.
The conference was a breath of fresh air, and it gave me the chance to speak with all the big ETF providers. All signs indicate that they’re looking ahead and thinking about 2009. Many have plans to launch exciting new products next year, such as the airline industry ETF. We’ll keep you posted on those products as the news develops.
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.