Vanguard Meets Advisors' Demands for Online ETF Research | ETF Trends

Vanguard, the third-largest U.S. ETF issuer, recently launched the ETF Knowledge Center to help address financial advisors’ questions about the increasingly popular investment vehicle.

The money manager is seeking to become the place for ETF education as Vanguard aggregates its published educational pieces in an easy-to-access central location, writes Jackie Noblett for Ignites.

In a phone interview with ETF Trends, Martha King, Managing Director of Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services Division, describes the education center as a “giant leap forward.

The site “brings ETF education to beginners and experienced advisors alike, and all of Vanguard’s resources would be available,” King said.

ETFs have been around for a while, but the investment vehicle is still relatively new, compared to the established mutual fund industry. Consequently, education remains a key component in increasing advisor awareness and adoption.

According to a 2013 Cerulli Associates report, advisor education is a key priority for ETF providers as a way to coach advisors new to the ETF industry, as well as advanced training for those acquainted with the products.

In a preliminary survey of financial advisors attending the ETF Virtual Conference, the majority of respondents revealed that they are using ETFs to lower fees. Advisors pointed to risk and portfolio construction as the top reason for learning about ETFs, followed by alternative ETF investments.

Vanguard’s push into an online forum will reach the changing way advisors are researching investment opportunities. The ETF Virtual’s preliminary survey showed that the majority of financial advisors utilize online sources to gather investment research. The research center has been tailored for online perusal, notably for smartphone and tablet viewers on the go.