DANA POINT, Calif. – It sounded good at first. New ETFs have a bright future, according to an early session of the IMN Global Indexing and ETFs conference, which kicked off on June 25. But I quickly realized the panelists were talking about the bright future for the industry rather than investors. ETFs are gaining market share with 233 new ETFs being launched last year alone. Many, I’m sure, made a fortune for the industry.

Years ago, no one ever imagined there would be over 2,000 ETFs with more than $3 trillion in assets, stated Tom Lydon, editor of ETF Trends. He noted the big providers (iShares, Vanguard, and State Street) control about 60% of the assets. I think that’s because they offer broad low-cost market-cap weighted ETFs. But Lydon predicted future shifts to more active and smart beta strategies in order to add alpha.

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