The growth and popularity of exchange traded fund products are on the rise, with access through independent/regional broker-dealers and registered investment advisors more than doubling compared to wirehouse channels over 2012.

Long-term mutual fund and ETF assets under independent/regional broker-dealers and RIAs made up over $3 trillion, or 40%, of total long-term mutual fund assets held by third party distributors last year, according to an Access Data, a Broadridge Finanical Solutions (NYSE: BR) company, press release.

Independent/regional broker-dealers and RIA asset growth expanded by 33% amd 32% in 2012, respectively.

Stock and bond mutual funds attracted the largest inflows over 2012, bringing in $67 billion and $56 billion, respectively. [Asset Flows Show Growing Interest for Low-Cost, Passive ETFs]

“Independent/regional broker-dealers and RIAs have become an increasingly important distribution channel for mutual fund and ETF firms,” Frank Polefrone, Senior Vice President at Access Data, said in the press release. “By better understanding which channels are driving the most sales, firms can identify their best prospects and opportunities in this increasingly competitive environment.”

For more information on ETF asset flows, visit our ETF performance reports 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.