Exchange traded fund managed portfolios, one of the fastest growing segments of the managed-account space, witnessed a strong start to the year as more advisors and institutional investors utilize the easy-to-use, low-cost investment strategies for client portfolios.

ETF managed portfolios tracked by Morningstar now holds 605 strategies spread across 140 firms, with $73 billion in assets, a 12% growth in the first quarter, reports Andrew Gogerty, ETF Managed Portfolios Strategist, for Morningstar. [ETF Managed Portfolios Branch Out from Retail to Institutional]

“Many advisors are turning to one or more of these strategies as an outsourced or complete portfolio solution for clients,” Gogerty said in a report.

This new bred of managed accounts are investment strategies that typically hold more than 50% of portfolio assets invested in ETFs. ETF managed portfolios are being utilized as both stand-alone investment strategies and a complete, one-stop offerings. [ETF Managed Portfolios: Disruptive Innovation and Mutual Funds]

Currently, global all-asset strategies make up $26 billion in assets, and the popular U.S.-focused strategies and equity offerings account for $31 billion in assets. Nevertheless, smaller strategies are gaining traction as platforms diversify product offerings. [ETF Managed Portfolios See Steady Growth]

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