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Thursday, February 18, 2010

ETFs are Gaining Retail Popularity

News summary by MFWire's editors

Riding a strong institutional momentum, exchange-traded funds are quickly gaining popularity in the retail market, The Wall Street Journal's Fund Track noted Thursday, citing findings from a Cogent Research study made public Tuesday.

In a survey of 4,000 "well-to-do" individual investors, 11 percent said they now own an ETF, compared to 9 percent a year earlier. Additionally, in general, investors who bought ETFs were slightly younger and wealthier than the overall pool.

This will surely come as good news to Fidelity and Charles Schwab, who separately made partnerships to offer their investors ETFs without online trading fees.

It appears that investors have an affinity for low-cost funds, such as those offered by Vanguard Group, and leveraged ETFs, which individuals might be using as short-term bets.

For example, in the fall of 2009, leveraged ETFs made up two-thirds of all ETF trades at TD Ameritrade, although that number dipped in December when FINRA made the funds more difficult to trade. ETF trading accounts for about 12 percent of all fund trading at TD. 

Edited by: Daniel Tovrov


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