The annual Schwab IMPACT conference was a big hit this year and appears to be one of the best-attended ever.

The IMPACT conference, which started at 20 years ago with only a few hundred attendees, has brought in a couple of thousand this year.

In a rare appearance, founder Charles “Chuck” Schwab provided an optimistic outlook as he shared the stage with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. Schwab remains bullish on equities, even with ongoing concerns of volatility. He also warned advisors to start anticipating a rise in inflation, as well. He also gave a glimpse of his portfolio construction, which included exchange traded funds, venture capital, international investments and equities.

Matt Hougan, president of ETF Analytics and global head of editorial for IndexUniverse, led a panel on “The Evolving World of Indexing,”proving that active indexing is here and in demand. The panel discussed how indices are created and how advisors may capitalize on the differences, including equal weight, fundamental, cap weight, dividend weight and dynamic methodologies. [CNBC Appearance at Schwab IMPACT]

Will Rhind, managing director at ETF Securities, and Frank Holmes, CEO and CIO at U.S. Global Investors, were key parts of an extended “Master Class on Commodities” panel, which helped illuminate the subtle nuances and specific risks inherent in commodities. The panel also discussed ways to include commodities and ETF products into clients’ portfolios, and how the asset class helps diversify investments.

Jim Ross, senior managing director and global head of SPDR ETFS at State Street Global Advisors, was on a “Going Deep with ETFs” panel on how the industry is influencing advisors’ decisions. The panel provided insight on ETF structures, regulatory hurdles and the utilization of tactical ETF trades.

For more on the Schwab IMPACT, take a look at Schwab’s IMPACT 2011 conference page.

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.