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Advisers becoming increasingly sophisticated in ETF usage

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Advisers are using exchange-traded funds to access a broader range of asset classes, as they develop their understanding and usage of the products in preparation for a post Retail Distribution Review world, according to a survey by iShares, the ETF platform of BlackRock.

The survey conducted by iShares at several educational ETF road shows held throughout the UK, shows that as well as being predominately used to access equity markets, ETFs are being increasingly used by advisers to gain exposure to fixed income and commodities.  

Sixty per cent of advisers use ETFs to gain exposure to international, domestic and emerging equity markets, while 32 per cent access fixed income and commodities markets through ETFs.

A further 76 per cent use ETFs as a core element of their market exposure or for strategic asset allocation, and not simply as a means to gain quick access to markets, and 24 per cent continue to use them tactically to gain quick access to different markets.
 
Only eight per cent of advisers currently use ETFs to provide leveraged exposure to markets, for short positions or to track alternative asset classes.

David Gardner, head of Northern Europe for iShares, says: “The survey findings show advisers are branching out from the traditional equity usage of ETFs into a broader variety of asset classes such as fixed income and commodities. This indicates they are now more familiar with the usage and implementation of ETFs, whether as a tactical tool or, as is increasingly evident, as a core part of their investment strategy.”

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