Planners tune in to ETFs
Monday, 9 March 2009 12:30pm

Over the next decade, exchange traded funds (ETFs) could put management fees of many Aussie fund managers under pressure - marking ETFs as the next boom market for fee-for-service planners.

Bruce Baker, director of Queensland-based Puzzle Financial Advice, said the ETF sector will revolutionise investing in Australia, citing low cost, simple risk management, precise timing, and wider investment choice as the building blocks to the market's growth.

He first recommended ETFs four years ago.

"ETFs broaden the menu of choices, with much wider asset allocation choices," said Baker.

"For example, for the last few years, Australian investors have been able to conveniently diversify into Gold Bullion via Gold Bullion Securities and now have ready access to convenient investing in other previous metals like platinum and silver," he said.

In the US, where hundreds of ETFs abound, investors are able to access products that they can use to hedge currencies, short the market and fixed interest among others, he said.

"The good news for fee-based advisers and their clients is that over time, more and more of these US ETFs will become available in Australia," he said.

Baker says managed funds which simply track an index will find it increasingly difficult to compete with an ETF that tracks the same index.

This in turn will enable financial planners to build diversified or targeted portfolios with much lower MERs than in the past," he said.

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