Morningstar Conference to Explore Where ETFs Are Heading

At the upcoming Morningstar ETF Conference in Chicago, industry experts will come together for three days to explore the ins-and-outs of the ETF space and where the evolving industry is likely heading.

The Sept. 6-8 conference at Hyatt Regency Chicago will present tactics, strategies and portfolio insights for financial professionals.

Among the highlights on opening day, Morningstar’s Ben Johnson, Alex Bryan and Adam McCullough will present research showcases on Morningstar’s ETF research, approaches to due diligence and stewardship practices.

Johnson, Morningstar’s Director of Global ETF Research, told ETF Trends this year’s conference sets out to answer many of the big questions advisors are asking about the market in general and how to use ETFs in building their clients’ portfolios in particular.

“A few of the questions this conference will attempt to address include: How might investors cope with the confluence of richly-priced markets, geo-political turmoil, and a simultaneous sea change in the asset-management and advice industries? How can investors make sense of the ever-expanding ETF menu? What are the risks and opportunities associated with strategic-beta funds? And how might investors better hedge against the biggest risk they face—their own bad behavior?,” Johnson told ETF Trends.

When asked about the biggest conference highlights this year, Johnson said Morningstar was excited to have Richard Thaler as its luncheon keynote speaker.

“Richard is a pioneer in behavioral economics and finance research, and he has a wealth of insight into how we can try to recognize and reconcile with our behavioral biases,” Johnson said. “Andrew Ang, BlackRock’s factor investing guru and one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject, and Chris Brightman from Research Affiliates will share their latest insights on how to put factor investing theory into practice.”

Ang’s “Frontiers of Factor Investing” session will kick-off day two of the conference. Other second day highlights include sessions such as “Not All Small-Cap Indexes Are Created Equal”, “How Is the Rise of Passive Investing Influencing Corporate Governance?” and “The Case for International Equities.”

The final day of the conference will feature a morning of sessions discussing Bond ETFs, liquid alternatives and emerging markets. The conference will conclude with a “Meet the Pundits” panel.

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