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US RIAs prefer ETFs to mutual funds, says TD Ameritrade survey


When it comes to investing client assets, more than half of independent RIAs say they use ETFs more than mutual funds or individual stocks.

That’s according to the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2018 RIA Sentiment Survey, which also reveals that a third of RIAs say assets for new ETF investments will come from cash in 2018, and 27 per cent say they will come from the sale of mutual funds. RIAs are less apt to sell stocks to fund new ETF purchases, however: just 9 per cent say the sale of individual securities will fund new ETF investments.
Although factors such as performance and total costs are important, advisors say the construction of the underlying index is the main reason they chose a particular ETF.
This year’s survey also revealed that most RIAs do not buy or switch ETFs simply because new offerings have been introduced by a particular sponsor. Instead, advisors say their selections are guided by asset allocation strategies or lower costs.

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