ETFs and Mutual Funds—It's Not an Either/or Decision

Note: This article is courtesy of

By George Guerin

By Adam Patti, CEO, IndexIQ | New York Life

When the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched in 1993, it was anything but clear that these funds would take off, and at first they didn’t.

By 2003, there were about 100 ETFs in the marketplace and while there were a few ETF evangelists out there singing the products’ praises, the momentum had yet to develop. Fast forward to 2016 and we now find ourselves in an environment where flows to ETFs have frequently been topping those to active mutual funds, and where investors and advisors currently have about 1,800 exchange-traded products (ETPs) to choose from.