ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The rich and wealthy want high-end investments like strategic stock choices, hedge funds, private equity or real estate. But, there is a chance that you may be missing opportunities in the simple, but highly useful, exchange traded fund (ETF).

Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Princeton professor, argues that the wealthy lose out by chasing the latest, greatest investment, writes Paul Sullivan for Yahoo! Finance. Malkiel comments on how the world’s wealthiest people would have had fine returns without volatility and high fess if they were to use index investments. [Which ETF Indexing Strategy is Right for You?]

Still, there are those who think otherwise. James T. Tierney Jr., senior vice president at W.P. Stewart & Company, remarks that “if you find the [stocks]with the higher average, you’re adding real value.”

Passive vs. Active. Malkiel has been saying that no one can always pick winners. Instead, he urges people to stick to a balance of stocks and bonds that is right for their time horizons. Tierney, on the other hand, believes that the stock-picking approach better serves high-net-worth investors. [Two Indexes All ETF Investors Should Know.]

Fees. The main selling point of non-actively managed investments is the low fees, which translates to higher returns to the investor. The counterargument is that the modest investor only needs a simple portfolio, but the wealthy need more advice to optimally allocate their assets.

Portfolio Style. Malkiel has disclosed his own investments, and he has all his retirement money in indexes. He has also put some money into municipal bonds and a few stocks to play around with, but “all the serious money is indexed.”

It’s tough to beat the market; even some of Wall Street’s brightest stars can’t do it consistently for long. So why not buy the market with an ETF? Learn all about them on our ETF Education page.

For more information on indexing, visit our indexing category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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.