25 June 2019

Do Investors Need an 'ETF Strategist'?

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You already have a relationship with a financial adviser or brokerage firm. Do you also need a service to manage a portfolio of exchange-traded funds?

These days, many advisers and financial firms are suggesting exactly that.

A class of uber-advisers dubbed "ETF strategists" has arrived on the investing scene, seeking to help individuals make smart choices among the nearly 1,600 easy-to-use and generally low-cost ETFs listed in the U.S. Providers include units of big brokerage firms and specialized wealth-management firms that direct billions of dollars.

At the end of 2013, investment researcher Morningstar Inc. tracked $96 billion in "ETF managed portfolios" spread across 648 different strategies offered by 153 firms. (To be counted, at least 50% of each portfolio had to be ETFs.) That asset figure may understate the influence of the ETF strategists: Many of them also advise retirement plans and mutual funds, and even sell their fund-trading "signals" to other advisers.

Click here for the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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