The nascent exchange traded fund industry is quickly expanding and garnering greater assets, sometimes at the expense of the mutual industry. At its current pace, ETF assets under management could double in just a few more years as more independent advisors utilize the low-cost investments, according to a consulting firm.

According to McKinsey & company, over the last ten years, assets in ETFs have expanded over 30% annually, compared to a 5% to 6% growth in mutual funds, writes Jeff Schlegel for Financial Advisor. The firm projects global ETP assets to increase to between $3.1 trillion and $4.7 trillion from a little over $1.5 trillion today.

Fee-based registered investment advisors that get paid a percentage of assets under management have been fueling the rapid growth of this fund space. Since RIAs are in the same boat as their clients, the advisors are picking low cost options like ETF to diversify their market exposure.

“There’s an ever-expanding array of choice, and generally that’s a good thing for advisors,” Ogden Hammond, an associate principal at McKinsey, said in the FA article.

McKinsey predicts that the ETF industry has hit an inflection point where product proliferation, specialization, price competition and additional actively managed funds will shift the ETF universe away traditional low-beta ETFs.

The company also expects more mutual fund names to start transitioning over to the ETF space. For instance, heavy-weight PIMCO has already made a successful ETF adaptation of its flagship Total Return bond fund, and others are following suit. [Merk Plans Hard Currency ETF]

Showing Page 1 of 2