Investors with the most confidence in their financial knowledge put greatest stock in ETFs
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are most popular with Affluent investors with the most confidence in their financial knowledge, according to a survey conducted last month by Millionaire Corner.
Thirty-nine percent of self-professed highly knowledgeable investors said they plan to invest in ETFs in the next year, compared with just 21 percent of respondents overall. Intention to invest in ETFs declines with the level of financial knowledge, with just five percent of those who rank their own financial literacy the lowest saying they plan to invest in ETFs.
Financial knowledge is a significant factor in market engagement. Those who profess to have the most also are much more likely to invest in mutual funds (60 percent vs. 38 percent of those who say they have little financial knowledge), and individual stocks (64 percent vs. 23 percent). Not surprisingly, those who say they have the least financial knowledge are the most likely to say they will invest in “none of the above” (48 percent vs. just 8 percent of those with the most financial knowledge).
An ETF, an alternative investment, is an index fund that can be traded like a stock. A Charles Schwab study conducted last October found that ETFs are becoming increasingly popular among investors, even if they don’t understand them. Eight-one percent declared ETFs “here to stay,” although almost half (45 percent) admit they have less than a clear understanding of them. But 39 percent claimed to know more about ETFs than they did a year ago. You can read about the study here.
What do investors with the greatest financial literacy like most about ETFs? Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) cited ETFs’ lower cost, while just over half (52 percent) said the liquidity of this alternative investment.
Another benefit of ETFs, diversification, one of the most common investment strategies to mitigate risk, is appreciated and understood across all financial literacy levels. In this case, those who said they have the least knowledge about investments and financial products were the most likely to mention diversification as a benefit of investing in ETFs (79 percent vs. 66 percent of those who claim the most financial knowledge).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.