New exchange traded funds continue to hit the market but building specialized portfolios of existing ETFs could be a more important component of the industry’s growth moving forward.

So-called ETF managed portfolios are becoming increasingly popular with investors and financial advisors who focus on asset allocation.

ETFs are very attractive portfolios building blocks due to their indexed approach, low costs, transparency and tax efficiency.

At year-end 2009, ETFs in managed accounts totaled $82 billion in assets; by this June, they reached $220 billion, or 19% of all the money invested in ETFs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Assets at ETF strategists tracked by Morningstar, the investment-research firm, rose 48% between last September and this June to $49.6 billion.

“What has driven the growth? Many advisors are good at financial planning and managing their clients’ emotions—but not necessarily at the time-consuming details of running money,” reports longtime index-fund advocate Jason Zweig. “Therefore, many of them are eager to deputize other firms with the task of running at least a portion of clients’ portfolios.”

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