“Overall we are definitely moving in the right direction and it’s translating into amazing value for investors,” said Martha King, managing director and head of U.S. financial intermediaries at the Vanguard Group, said, reports Jeff Cox for CNBC. “Today more people are indexing than ever before. They are getting wide exposure to the stock and bond markets and they are paying less to do it.”

ETFs are a lot like mutual funds in that they both hold a basket of securities. However, ETFs can be traded on open exchange during normal trading hours, offer greater transparency into component holdings and come with lower fees.

Conferences like the Inside ETFs gathering are an opportunity to educate more people with the ETF investment product. It isn’t enough that the ETF investment vehicle is an easy tool to use; advisors and investors also need to be smart about the way they handle it. [Vanguard’s Brennan Says ETFs Empowering Financial Advisors]

“You’re sitting on a pair of aces,” Hougan said. “Compared to your competitors, compared to people who aren’t in the ETF world, you have this enormous set of advantages, and that’s an awesome place to be.”