Why Are Investors Favouring ETFs in 2015?

Passive funds analyst Jose Garcia-Zarate says investors are becoming increasingly aware of the difficulties of finding an active manager who is able to consistently perform well

Jose Garcia Zarate 23 April, 2015 | 12:25AM
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Jose Garcia Zarate: The European ETF industry saw net inflows of €31.2 billion in Q1, 2015. Now, this is a record high, but it's also a figure that is working to the full calendar year results that we see for ETFs in the Continent. Now, there may have been a special factor at play here. Obviously, the announcement by the ECB of – its programme of QE created a kind of like a one-way investment bets, where active managers probably didn't really have much value to add. And I guess that the Act favored in index tracker such as ETFs.

In fact, when you look at the figures, most of the money was directed at European, and particularly eurozone assets, both on the equity and the fixed-income side. So the question is, can this trend actually continue going forward. Well, we'll have to wait and see. But if we look across the Atlantic and we take the United States as an example, we see the passive investing is becoming a bit of a default option for investors.

I think that investors are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of low costs and also the difficulties of finding an active manager who is able to perform well on a consistent manner. This favours passive investing in general and, therefore, vehicle such as ETFs. So, I guess, that outlook for the passive industry in Europe is actually quite positive.

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Jose Garcia Zarate

Jose Garcia Zarate  is Associate Director of Passive Strategies Research for Morningstar Europe

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