Self-Directed Investors Lead ETF Adoption

A new study finds that investors who manage their own portfolios are embracing ETFs at a faster pace than advised-investors.

Cambridge-based Cogent Research conducted a national study of 4,000 affluent Americans that tested their interest, usage and commitment to ETFs.

The study found that, while equal proportions of self-directed and advised investors use ETFs, self-directed investors allocate 20% more of their portfolio to ETFs (i.e., 17% average allocation to ETFs among self-directed vs. 14.1% average allocation to ETFs among advised).

The study also specifically looked at brand awareness, product usage, provider loyalty, and customer experience across major ETF providers.  The study concluded that State Street and iShares have the highest awareness among self-directed investors. (see chart)