More financial advisors and individual investors are adopting ETFs. However, large institutional investors were the first group to really appreciate and utilize the benefits of low-cost ETFs. Now the “smart money” is incorporating the financial products more in buy-and-hold strategies, according to a recent survey.

“The findings reveal that strategic, long term use of ETFs is the most dominant application across pensions, foundations, endowments and asset managers,” iShares said, reports Brendan Conway for Barron’s. “Increasingly larger pensions, foundations and endowments are using ETFs, debunking the view that only smaller institutional investors use ETFs strategically.”

The fund provider highlighted that passive core allocations, or index strategic allocation, is the most popular use for ETFs, followed by tactical strategies, risk management and rebalancing.

“Asset managers tend to use ETFs more for tactical strategies and risk managements than pensions, foundations and endowments,” iShares added.

Last month, iShares created the iShares Core Series, a suite of 10 U.S. ETFs, designed for long-term, buy-and-hold investors. [BlackRock ‘Core’ iShares ETF Family Gets Solid Reception]

“The combination of our iShares Core Series targeting buy-and-hold investors and a campaign to refresh the powerful iShares brand – supported by what will now be the industry’s largest U.S. retail sales force – are key components of our broader plan to drive even stronger growth in the U.S. and globally,” Mark Wiedman, Managing Director and Global Head of iShares, said in a press release.

For more information on ETFs, visit our ETF 101 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.