Financial Advisor Survey Reveal Higher Confidence In ETFs

new, the leading independent authority on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), together with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), a market leading ETF custodian and administrator, announced today the results of their second “Annual Advisor Survey,” which gauges the market sentiment of ETF-focused financial advisors (FAs).

Among other trends, the survey examines the ETF selection process, the relative value of index brands, which ETF firms have the top reputation for quality, as well as how investors view newly launched ETFs, active and Smart Beta ETFs.

“Through our daily coverage of news and trends in the ETF market, is talking to financial advisors daily, but this survey is especially important to us because it provides a real, unfiltered view into how advisors are viewing this market,” said Matt Hougan, President of

Shawn McNinch, Senior Vice President and Global Head of ETF Services at BBH agrees, “We are thrilled to work with and help provide new insight into the decision making process of ETF focused financial advisors. As the only survey of its kind, the intelligence gathered here is extremely valuable for the product development and distribution efforts of global ETF sponsors.”

Key results from this year’s data highlight an overall change in advisors’ attitudes toward ETFs:

  • FAs are increasingly comfortable with new ETFs – nearly 65% of advisors would add an ETF to a portfolio within a year of its launch, up from just over 50% last year.
  • The percentage of FAs with 50% or more of their AUM invested in ETFs and ETNs increased from 19% in 2013 to 32% in 2014.
  • Last year, around 67% of survey participants said they would buy a more expensive ETF if it was linked to a major index. This year, only 59% said they would go with the more expensive option.
  • 49% of respondents bought a Smart Beta ETF in the past year. However, for 57% of respondents, Smart Beta makes up less than 5% of their AUM.
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