ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Retail investors are putting more money into exchange traded funds than mutual funds, with big securities firms pointing to rapid growth among smart-beta offerings.

According to Broadridge Financial Solutions, assets in ETFs at retail financial-services companies, which help individual investors and financial advisors, increased by $265 billion, or 14%, year-over-year through June, reports Daisy Maxey for the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, individual-investor holdings of long-term mutual funds at the financial-services companies expanded by $200 billion, or 6%, over the same period.

Looking at the largest wirehouses, ETF assets jumped by $70 billion, or 21%, in the year through June, whereas assets in long-term mutual funds was up by $6 billion, or just 0.5%.

Additionally, assets in ETFs held by registered investment advisors rose $78 billion, or 19%, whereas assets in long-term mutual funds held under RIAs rose $130 billion, or 9%, in the period. Frank Polefrone, senior vice president of Broadridge, argues that the growing popularity of ETFs among financial advisors is being driven by a shift away from commission-based business models. Instead, many advisors are now charging fees based on an annual percentage of assets managed, which provides a greater incentive to invest in low-cost ETFs.

The updated data through the second quarter reveals a rising trend in the fund industry: individual investors’ ETF assets are increasing at a faster rate than mutual fund investments in dollar terms and on a percentage basis.

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