ETF Trends
ETF Trends

I just go back from the Inside ETFs conference where anybody and everybody in the ETF industry, along with notable Wall Street investors and pundits, congregated at the largest conference in the country.

At the conference, I also hosted a great panel on smart-beta strategies and how they have been utilized in investment portfolios. Additionally, I joined Matt Hougan, CEO of ETF.com, Dave Nadig, Director of ETFs at FactSet, and Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ, on a panel of best ETF launches of 2015.

Despite the challenges we have faced, the ETF business is alive and well. Some of my key takeaways from the Inside ETFs conference include:

  1. Financial Advisors are finally getting social media. You’re crazy if you don’t jump on board. Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker, is proof of the success.
  2. Emerging markets still have a long way to go on the downside, according to Jeff Gundlach, Founder of Doubleline Capital.
  3. Big chance of recession in U.S this year, according to Mark Yusko, CEO and CIO of Morgan Creek Capital Management.
  4. Indexing continues to cream active management, Dave Nadig said.
  5. Bullish on Southeast Asian countries, Swiss investor Marc Faber said.
  6. It’s not just the size of volatility but the frequency of volatility that’s increasing, Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab, said.
  7. Returns in bonds over the next 5-10 years are going to stink, Michael Jones, Chairman and CIO at Riverfront Investment Group, said.
  8. You have to address all of the factor exposures of smart beta, James Norman, President of QS Investors, said.
  9. ETFs are a disruptive technology, according to Matt Hougan.
  10. SmartAlpha ushering in a new era of index investing by combining value investing with investment disciplines.
  11. Investors shouldn’t speculate on short-term crude oil moves. It is better to have a long-term strategy in play.
  12. Rules-based ETFs are all the rage. Smart-beta or alternative index-based ETFs are getting more creative, and there are more people interested in the strategies.
  13. The upstart robo-advisory business can go hand in hand with traditional financial advisors.
  14. Successful new ETF launches have a clear and decisive strategy. For instance, one of the most popular ETF launches, the Pacer Trendpilot 750 ETF (BATS: PTLC), was named the people’s choice for 2015.

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.