Active Funds Bleed Assets While Passive ETFs Gain

Lafferty, though, argued that the relentless competition from cheap, passive investment vehicles, like ETFs, could ultimately be a positive for the asset management industry as the increased competitiveness would drive out underperforming fund managers and make the industry more “lean and mean.”

Investors have continued to pull assets from active managers, even as traditional stockpickers have exhibited improved performance in 2017. Around 55% of all U.S. equity fund managers have beaten benchmarks this year and are now on track for their best yearly performance since 2007.

There are now 2,092 U.S.-listed exchange traded products, or exchange traded notes and ETFs, with $3.279 trillion in assets under management, according to XTF data. The U.S.-listed ETF universe has attracted $391.4 billion in net inflows year-to-date.

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