Our latest wealth segment studies indicate that as investors gain net worth, they are more likely to feel comfortable with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). This is especially true with younger investors, according to Asset Allocation, Portfolios and Primary Providers.
Among Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence), domestic ETFs comprise 14 percent of their portfolios with an average value of $26,000. This is up slightly from 2014 when ETFs with an average value of $25,000 made up 13 percent of their portfolios
One-fourth of Millionaireinvestors with a net worth up to $5 million (NIPR) invest in domestic ETFs. The mean value of these investments is $88,000. This is down from last year, when 28 percent of Millionaires invested in domestic ETFs, which had an average value of $92,000.
Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million (NIPR) are the most likely to be invested in domestic ETFs, according to our study. Forty-three percent—up from 40 percent in 2014—are invested in ETFs, which have an average value of $438,000 (down from $469,000 in 2014)
The likelihood of investing in ETFs in the next 12 months also increases with net worth. Thirteen percent of Mass Affluent investors indicate they will invest in ETFs over the course of the next year, compared with 21 percent of Millionaires and 31 percent of UHNW. Each percentage is basically unchanged from 2014.
In terms of ETF ownership, age is only a significant factor among Millionaire and UHNW investors. Of the 25 percent who are invested in ETFs, almost two-thirds (63 percent) are Millennials ages 35 and under. In comparison, 37 percent are Gen Xers ages 36-44, and 23 percent are Baby Boomers ages 55-64. Among the 43 percent of UHNW investors who invest in domestic ETFs, almost half are those 47 and under as well as the 48-54 age group.
These young Millionaire and UHNW investors are significantly more likely than their older cohorts to give their financial advisor the primary responsibility of managing these investments. Almost seven-in-ten of Millionaire Millennials and 44 percent of UHNW investors ages 47 and under indicate that their advisor is primarily responsible for managing their ETFs.
Diversification is one of the primary factors Affluent investors consider when selecting an investment, our research finds. ETFs are finding increasing favor with wealthy investors for their diversification benefits, lower cost, wide range, and the fact that they can be traded at any time of the day and not just as the market close. Young investors, who tend to be more tech-savvy and environmentally conscious than their older counterparts, may find ETFs increasingly appealing in that they can find specific ETFs that track appealing markets, such as technology.