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NZX sees ETF popularity grow

NZX says support from financial advisers has helped grow its exchange-traded funds’ FUM to new heights over the past 18 months.

Monday, June 13th 2016, 5:59AM

Since it started rolling out more Smartshares ETFs in 2014, the number of unit-holders has increased by 18%.

There are now 23 Smartshares funds, up from five  before the new options were launched.

NZX head of markets Aaron Jenkins said New Zealand had been an early adopter of ETFs by international standards but they did not take hold here in the same way they had overseas because of a lack of options. The new ETFs were a way to address that.

New funds offered diversification of asset classes and into international equities.

Funds under management has tripled over 18 months to $1.6 billion.

There are another 50,000 indirect investors.

Jenkins said there had been a noticeable increase in “mum and dad” investors who appreciated the low barrier to entry for the ETFS – some can be invested in for as little as $500 upfront – and the monthly saving plan option.

The median ETF balance has dropped from $25,000 to $14,500 since the new funds were launched.

But he said there had also been good support from the financial adviser market.

Smartshares is focusing on its education efforts, including workshops with advisers.

Jenkins said even people who were active in the market did not always understand how ETFs worked.  “The theme of last year was product development, now it’s education. Financial advisers are part of that education.”

Tags: ETFs Smartshares

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