Wall Street landmark: ETF popularity reaches record levels

ETFs are rising in popularity faster than ever. Morningstar reports that last month was the first time ever that more than 3,000 ETFs were trading concurrently, an increase of 30% from December 2020. (wall street).

Additionally, this year, investors are utilizing more active strategies, such as single-stock exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which provide investors access to the daily performance of a single stock, such as Tesla or Apple.

Wall Street

“We basically started off by taking fairly broad index funds, SPY [SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust] being the first one,” said Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, this week on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.” “The industry through the years has added all these exciting overlays.”

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Image Credit: Getty Images, Wall Street/ Wall Street/ Wall Street

Colas claimed that the addition of these funds signaled a transition from disruptive innovation to conventional investing. In addition to funds devoted to subjects like renewable energy and legal marijuana, they also featured sector and development funds.

He went on to say that investors are today “extremely spoiled for choice” since they have access to a variety of funds in addition to the large sector funds and the main overall funds.

However, as investment consultant Charles Ellis, author of the upcoming books “Inside Vanguard” and “Figuring It Out,” points out, there are risks connected to this trend toward more specialization of topic ETFs, such as cybersecurity ETFs. According to Ellis, individuals who pick ETFs with a limited emphasis run the risk of performing poorly, while those who buy ETFs with the purpose of eventually investing in index funds will likely do well.

According to Ellis, because we are all human, the more specific you are, the more likely you are to be unable to make a long-term decision and instead be persuaded to make a short-term, emotional choice that you won’t ultimately appreciate.

Another achievement

Investors will soon commemorate another milestone thanks to the rapid rise of ETFs. The first ETF, SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, will turn 30 in January 2023. The SPY is now the biggest ETF and one of the biggest funds in the world, with $350 billion in assets under management.

In contrast to developing market ETFs, which had poor returns during their boom and bust cycle, Colas claimed that SPY was the ideal product to start with.

According to Pisani, consumers who were investing in subpar mutual funds switched to ETFs, which contributed to the expansion of ETFs and more active funds. ETFs have less associated costs and a lower tax burden than mutual funds, according to Colas.

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