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VettaFi uses unique data-driven approach to support ETF research

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VettaFi | Best ETF Research Provider

In April, Todd Rosenbluth, Head of Research, VettaFi, joined one of the firms that became the component parts of the VettaFi offering in May, 2022.

“What we did was take four established ETF-related brands – ETF Trends, ETF Database, Alerian Indices and SGlobal Networks – and they became VettaFi,” Rosenbluth explains.

“It was a chance for us to be able to support asset managers and end investors across a broader landscape due to our indexing capability as well as research, commentary and broad data. It brought many people from the ETF industry and brands together.”

VettaFi offers research and commentary on all indices and actively managed ETFs but, in addition, offers thought leadership and commentary on those indices and products, Rosenbluth says.

“We have a Chinese wall in that we work with the index side, but index construction is done separately from our research efforts, and we are cognisant of writing about the broader universe of products,” Rosenbluth says.

“So, we if we wrote about an ETF tracking in our parent company indices we would also talk about its peers and have a factual conversation about the construction of various products.”

Rosenbluth produces regular commentary on ETFs, looking at the universe, where the money is going and why it is going there, plus offering comparative analysis of ETFs to help investors sort through the universe.

“Our data is unique because we have over 300 poll questions we pose to financial advisers each year and we use that data to get an understanding of investor demand interest. We summarise that data to derive content,” he explains.

“For example, we asked investors where they are searching for income in this current rising rate environment and gave them categories to choose from and took the output to turn it into a piece about what advisers are interested in.”

The ETF Trends website is publicly available so has a broad audience of institutional investors as well as retail investors, but the focus of attention is on the financial advisers.

“We also try to understand what investors and advisers are looking for and use that data to provide answers to the questions that they seem to be asking.”

“I think we won this award because we have been able to educate and work with financial advisers, investors and institutional investors,” Rosenbluth says, one of seven who can speak publicly for the firm, alongside Tom Lydon, Dave Nadig, Lara Crigger, Stacy Morris, Tom Hendrickson and Roxanna Islam.

“At VettaFi, we have a strong understanding about what advisers or buyers of ETFs are interested in and trying to meet them where they are. Before joining the team, I wrote research on topics I thoughts were of interest but here we are using data to tell us what investors want to learn about and then bringing a range of investment ideas.”

The firm also organised last year’s Exchange ETF conference, with the next one scheduled to return to the Fontainebleau in Miami beach for 5th to 8th February.

Commenting on this year in ETFs, Rosenbluth says: “What’s been strange is that in the US we are likely to have the second-best year of ETF flows on record despite a bear market in equities and fixed income and for all the years of people saying that ETFs wouldn’t work in a bear market, people have run to ETFs.”

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