Even as the ETF market has seen tremendous growth, Merrill Lynch's
Holdrs products have steadily bled assets over the past several years,
The Wall Street Journal
reported. Holdrs' falling popularity has led an influential analyst to suggest that the investment offerings could be headed for extinction. Holdrs, which burst onto the scene nine years ago, don't charge management fees and can be cheaper than other ETFs. Also, while most ETFs track benchmarks that alter their components over time to reflect market changes, Holdrs' holdings consist of a fixed bunch of stocks and change their holdings only for a corporate event. Merrill Lynch has not added to its Holdrs lineup since 2001.
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