Smaller RIAs Embrace ETFs

Smaller registered investment advisors allocate a great percentage of client assets to exchange traded funds than their larger competitors, according to a recent Financial Times survey.

Independent RIAs with $300 million to $1 billion in assets under management, on average, devote 16.1% of assets to ETFs compared to 8.1% allocated to ETFs by RIAs with more than $2 billion in AUM, Ignites reported.

The data is based on an Ignites Research survey of 300 RIAs with a minimum of $300 million in AUM and median AUM of $1.5 billion.

Overall, firms with under $1 billion in AUM are more likely to use passive products, according to the survey.

While smaller money managers are showing a willingness to embrace ETFs, so are scores of large asset managers. Twenty-five of the Top 50 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) use ETFs in client portfolios, according to RIA Database.

Top ETF holdings within that group include the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV), the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEArca: MDY).