The growth in advisors’ use of exchange-traded funds is outpacing the increases in the use of other investment vehicles, according to a new Financial Planning Association survey.
The 2014 Trends in Investing Survey, conducted by FPA’s Journal of Financial Planning and the FPA Research and Practice Institute, shows 79 percent of advisors use or recommend ETFs now, compared to 40 percent in 2006.
The survey of 288 advisors has been conducted since 2006 to gauge advisors’ use of investment vehicles. Of the 17 investment vehicles the advisors use, ETFs showed the most growth. Thirty-nine percent of advisors say they plan to increase their use of ETFs over the next 12 months.
Survey results also show an overall increase in the use of cash and equivalents since 2006, when just 53 percent of planners surveyed were using or recommending cash, compared with 79 percent today.
Advisors are moving away from annuities, with 41 percent currently using or recommending variable annuities, compared with a high of 58 percent in both 2006 and 2008, according to FPA. Twenty-nine percent of planners say they are currently using or recommending fixed annuities, down from a high of 49 percent in 2010.
“The study seems to point to a shift toward investments with greater transparency and liquidity,” says Valerie Porter, director of the FPA Research and Practice Institute. “Perhaps advisors are responding to consumers' demand for lower-cost investments that allow them to be more nimble in their investment approach. I think it's safe to say everyone values cash a little more since last decade's market collapse.”
The survey also shows that advisors maintain a positive long-term economic outlook, with 57 percent saying they are bullish about the next five years, compared to just 39 percent who are bullish over the next six months.