data connections
Orbon Alija / iStock

ETF usage among brokerage advisors has risen dramatically over the past five years, according to Investment Executive’s annual Brokerage Report Card (BRC). However, ETFs didn’t crack 10% of the average advisor’s product distribution until 2020.

Advisors who reported using ETFs (any percentage above zero) during the BRC’s 2020 research period — January to early February, before the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the markets — tended to be slightly younger and less experienced than advisors who reported 0%, but the former group had higher book values and annual compensation.

During all five years analyzed, ETFs apparently did not replace mutual funds in advisors’ books, but rather allocations to individual stocks and bonds. Have a look at the charts for details.

Analysis by James Langton, Melissa Shin and Katie Keir.

Survey participants with ETFs in book

Survey participants without ETFs in book

ETF usage and annual advisor compensation

ETF usage and wealthy households

ETF usage and book size

Brokerage advisors’ ETF usage over the years

ETF usage and advisor experience

ETF and mutual fund usage

ETF and equities usage

ETF and bond usage

Source: Investment Executive. For gross revenue by product, survey participants were asked about 10 categories in total.