Investors have been fleeing mutual funds for exchange traded funds (ETFs), but a recent study has finally put into numbers what we’ve long suspected.

In October 2006, 94% of all investors owned at least one mutual fund, according to consultant Cogent Research. It says that amount fell to 75% in October 2010.

Even investors who still use mutual funds have narrowed their holdings down to a much lower number, says Murray Coleman for Barron’s. Since 2006, investors have dropped allocations to mutual funds from 53% of their holdings to 44% at the end of last year. [4 Reasons to Be Sold On Actively Managed ETFs.]

But those assets aren’t just disappearing into the ether. Investors are going straight to the waiting arms of ETFs.

They’ve increased investments into ETFs from 11% four years go to 16% in late 2010. According to the survey, Americans gave Vanguard and PIMCO the highest ratings. [More Advisors Are Putting ETFs to Work.]

If you still need convincing, read 9 Reasons Why ETFs Are Better Than Mutual Funds.

Tisha Guerrero 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.