What ETF Industry Observers Are Expecting for 2017

Exchange traded fund investors and industry insiders converged in Hollywood, Florida to take a comprehensive look at what is in store for the ETF market and global economy for the year ahead.

The Inside ETF conference with close to 2,500 participants is in full swing. Tom Lydon, Editor & Publisher of ETF Trends, will be moderating a panel discussion for Smart Beta at the Core: Can It Work? Should You Switch? on Tuesday and will also join as a panelist on the People’s Choice: The Best new ETF of 2016 panel discussion.

As attendees talk and mingle over the recent explosive growth of ETFs and examine the future of the industry, some major trends are popping up in the discussions.

For instance, Bob Pisani for CNBC pointed out that money will keep coming in.

The U.S. ETF industry is growing toward $3 trillion in assets under management, with $288.6 billion in inflows for 2016, compared to the $90.8 billion in outflows mutual funds suffered.

The growth is expected to pick up pass, with a survey of ETF professionals by PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that predicted ETF assets under management would expand to $5.9 trillion by 2021, or a 23% cumulative annual growth rate, as investors enjoy the low cost of the ETF structure.

“It’s not so much about active versus passive, it’s more about moving from high-cost funds to low-cost funds,” Ben Johnson, head of ETFs for Morningstar, told CNBC.