The mutual fund industry has historically showed its resilience to competitive products and predictions of its demise have always proven false. So it is not likely that several products that have gained recent attention from investors and the financial media will spell the end of the fund industry, said industry executives speaking at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week.

However, products like individual stock baskets and exchange-traded funds have caught on with investors and financial advisers and moved into the mainstream because they offer advantages over traditional mutual funds, said Scott Cooley, a senior fund analyst with Morningstar, a moderator on a panel that discussed new, low-cost investment products. The panel included Gus Sauter, director of the Vanguard Group's Quantitative Equity Group, Steven Wallman, founder of FOLIOfn and Brad Zigler, head of educational material for Barclay's exchange-traded funds.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.