Exchange Traded Funds trade differently than mutual funds, and are gaining acceptance
In some cases, familiarity breeds acceptance and such is the case with Exchange Traded Funds, an attractive investment option, especially to those who understand them.
A Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study on ETFs shows that while not as popular as mutual funds for investing, ETFs are growing rapidly among the investment community. Fewer costs and freer transaction opportunities make ETFs a new choice especially for high net worth investors.
Exchange Traded Funds are similar to mutual funds because they are a collection of assets, but they are different in that they are traded throughout the market day like a stock rather than at the end of the business day as mutual funds are. That makes ETFs more volatile and possibly more lucrative.
The Investment Company Institute said combined assets of exchange traded funds in May of 2013 were just under $1.5 trillion. In May of 012 it was just over $1.1 trillion.
The Millionaire Corner research studied three different wealth segments: Mass Affluent ($100,000 to $1 million not including primary residence), Millionaire ($1 million to $5 million NIPR) and Ultra High Net Worth $5 million to $25 million NIPR). Only 28 percent of all investors studied owned ETFs, but that number ranges depending on wealth and understanding of the products.
Exchange Traded Funds are particularly popular with Ultra High Net Worth investors, with 47 percent of those studied owning ETFs. A similar number (45 percent) of survey respondents who classify themselves as knowledgeable about investments owned ETFs.
The other end of the study was the Mass Affluent, of which only 15 percent own ETFs. Only 13 percent of those who are not very knowledgeable about investment products own ETFs.
Risk is another factor. Because ETFs are a bit more volatile, they attract the more aggressive investor more than the more conservative one.
The study indicated ETFs are chosen because of the investment record of the fund seller (44 percent of UHNW) or because an investment advisor suggested it (44 percent).
Some investors own both ETFs and Mutual Funds, and most of them like to that way. Forty-seven percent of investors said they preferred having both products in their portfolio. While 30 percent preferred mutual funds and 24 percent said they preferred ETFs. Almost two-thirds of invests said they would be likely to move funds from mutual funds into ETFs.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.