A comprehensive study by PwC projects that ETFs are on track to double to $5 trillion by 2020. A view of what is driving much of this growth helps to shed light on what may lie ahead for the DC market.
Though Charles Schwab still seems to be committed to putting them into DC plans, are ETFs — as one advisor stated in a P&I article — a square peg in a
Brian Lenz's insight:
I still haven't heard a compelling case to use ETFs over low cost index funds in a plan's core fund menu and why limit a platform to ETFs only? While ETFs may never make a splash as participant directed options, ETFs are right at home inside of a managed solution. If you're offering or working with a third party manager to offer risk based or target date models to your plans, there are many reasons to consider ETFs over mutual funds. ETFs have no minimums, no redemption fees, they don't soft-close and you have access to more niche market segments and indices. Managed, "do it for me" solutions are the future of ETFs in retirement plans.
Exchange-traded funds offer investors a low-fee retirement portfolio option, but some say including ETFs may actually be costly.
Brian Lenz's insight:
Isn't there a home for both? To target basic indices and within most participant directed core plan lineups, there probably isn't a strong reason to use an ETF over a mutual fund. But what about the model manager who wants access to a more specific sector, country, etc. without worrying about minimums or redemption fees? The industry is headed in the direction of "do it for me" managed solutions and ETFs are an excellent tool that area.
Not surprising at all. It has become glaringly obvious that most participants should be using a professionally managed solution in their retirement plans. Every plan should have some type of managed option available.
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