Alternative investments such as cannabis are the winners and cryptocurrencies are the losers in the “2019 Trends in Investing Survey,” while ETFs remain the runaway favorite for financial advisors and their clients.

For the fifth year in a row, ETFs are “all the rage” among financial advisors, with 88 percent of advisors saying they are currently using or recommending ETFs for their clients, according to the survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association, the Journal of Financial Planning and the FPA Research and Practice Institute.

ETFs were the most popular choice out of 22 investing options posed by the survey, which included the responses of 392 financial advisors. The data “indicates a possible shift from individual stock and bond usage to ETFs products,” the survey said. ETF usage increased from 40 percent of advisors in 2006.

“The continued dominance of ETFs in advisor portfolios—a category largely composed of index funds—suggests a significant focus on passive investing approaches among advisors,” said Dave Yeske, managing director of Yeske Buie and practitioner editor of the Journal of Financial Planning. “This focus on passive investing leaves advisors with more time and energy to focus on high-value financial planning activities such as tax, retirement, education and insurance planning.”

Forty-five percent of advisors plan to increase their use or recommendations of ETFs with clients over the next 12 months, which is on par with the 46 percent who said the same thing in 2018. “No other investment vehicle showed this level of anticipated increased usage,” the survey said.

Twenty-three percent said they will reduce their use of individual stocks in the next 12 months, which is a 5-percentage-point increase from the 2018 survey.

The survey also revealed clients are curious about newer investment opportunities. For instance, 55 percent of advisors are now fielding questions from clients about investing in marijuana stocks or companies. Thirty-five percent are being asked about ESG and socially responsible investing.

The interest in cryptocurrencies seems to be fading, as only 25 percent of advisors are addressing questions about the alternative currencies, a sharp decline from the 53 percent who said they were getting questions from clients in 2018. “Only 1 percent of advisors said cryptocurrencies are a viable investment option. Far more are skeptical, with 18 percent saying they are a fad that is best avoided and 32 percent saying they are not a viable investment,” according to the survey.

“Clearly the collapse of Bitcoin and the prominent failures of several coin exchanges have taken the air out of what [many advisors] identified from the beginning as pure speculation,” Yeske said.

Although the majority of planners continue to favor a blend of active and passive management, there was a continued uptick in a passive approach, with 29 percent saying passive management provides the best overall investment performance.

The advisors predicted that returns for equities over the next 12 months would be 5.8 percent and returns for fixed income would be 2.9 percent.