Advisors Like ETFs More Than Mutual Funds
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Advisors Like ETFs More Than Mutual Funds

Plain old mutual funds are no longer the vehicle of choice for financial advisors -- they now prefer exchange-traded funds. The news may not be a surprise, but it is official, according to research released by the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

While the FPA did not find that more assets are in ETFs as compared to mutual funds (POMFs, perhaps?) its 2015 Trends in Investing Survey found that 81 percent of advisors are now using or recommending ETFs to clients.

Yet, mutual funds have not totally lost their cool. The FPA reports that 78 percent of advisors are recommending or using mutual funds with clients. Just 23 percent of advisors said that they would recommend or use mutual fund wraps with clients during the next 12 months.

This is the first time that ETFs have outpaced POMFs in the survey. The FPA first surveyed advisors on the issue in 2006 and at that time just 40 percent were using or recommending ETFs.

Still, not all ETFs are equally popular with advisors. Just 22 percent say they have used smart beta ETFs with clients in the last 12 months.

Separately, Cerulli Associates confirms that ETF assets reached more than $2.1 trillion at the end of April. That is a fraction of the $12.6 trillion of assets in mutual funds.

Flows into ETFs were nearly $15 billion during the month.

The most popular type of mutual fund in April were foreign large blend funds which pulled in $11.6 billion of net flows in April.

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