New research has uncovered a growing trend among financial advisers recommending low-cost exchange-traded funds to their clients, indicating a shift towards more cost-effective investment strategies.
According to recently released data from wholesale trading platform AUSIEX, nearly a third (30.9%) of buying volumes directed by advisers went into ETFs in 2023, marking a significant increase from the quarter seen in 2022.
The adoption of ETFs was particularly pronounced among younger advised investors, with ETFs constituting almost half (49.2%) of buy trades facilitated by advisers for individuals aged between 18-24. This represents a notable 5% uptick from the previous year.
Similarly, for those aged between 25-49, ETFs accounted for more than a quarter (24.7%) of the buying volumes from advisers in 2023, reflecting a steady growth trajectory over the past two years.
Brett Grant, Head of Product, Marketing & Customer Experience at AUSIEX, emphasized the increasing significance of ETFs in advisers’ investment strategies, particularly amid market uncertainty.
“ETFs have become an increasingly important part of advisers’ investment strategies, in part due to market uncertainty,” said Grant. “Today, ETFs continue to offer a diversified, low-cost exposure to an index or specific thematic, allowing advisers and their clients to gain exposure to a range of asset classes in a single transaction.”
Grant highlighted the versatility of ETFs in constructing well-balanced portfolios tailored to individual risk tolerance and financial goals, adding that they present opportunities for advisers to engage with the next generation of investors by aligning investment options with client values.
He outlined three key advantages driving the popularity of ETFs among advisers:
1. Diversification: ETFs enable exposure to various asset classes, investment trends, and regions, facilitating instant diversification for investors.
2. Cost Efficiency: ETFs are known for their low costs compared to managed funds, providing value for clients seeking cost-effective investment solutions.
3. Liquidity and Transparency: ETFs trade on stock exchanges like individual stocks, offering intraday liquidity. The transparent nature of ETF holdings allows advisers to make well-informed investment decisions.
The findings underscore a broader industry shift towards embracing ETFs as a preferred investment vehicle, driven by their affordability, versatility, and potential for portfolio diversification.
President Biden cancels another $1 billion in student loans
President Joe Biden’s administration will cancel another $1.2 billion in student loans.
This move comes as part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to addressing the financial challenges faced by many Americans in the realm of higher education.
The cancellation will primarily impact borrowers who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and those who attended schools that have since closed.
The new wave of relief applies to people enrolled in a repayment program known as SAVE and covers those who borrowed less than 12-thousand-dollars and have been repaying the money for at least 10 years.
Tooth fairy paying less for lost teeth linked to high inflation
Even the tooth fairy is feeling the pinch of high inflation, according to a recent survey conducted by insurer Delta Dental.
The survey revealed that the average amount of cash left under children’s pillows by the tooth fairy (read: parents) dropped to $5.84 in 2023, marking a 6% decrease from the previous year’s average of $6.23.
This decline represents the first drop in tooth fairy payouts since 2018.
Even the loss of a first tooth, which typically commands a higher reward, saw a decrease in average gift value. Last year, the average gift for losing a first tooth was $7.09, down from $7.29 in 2022.
Tooth fairy generosity
The survey, which polled 1,000 parents of children aged 6 to 12, also found regional disparities in tooth fairy generosity.
Children in the western part of the United States received the highest average payouts, with lost teeth fetching an average of $8.54 in 2023, a notable 37% increase from the previous year.
In contrast, children in the Midwest experienced the sharpest decline in tooth fairy payouts, with the value of lost teeth plummeting by 36% to $3.63.
Similarly, children in the South saw a 16% decrease, with the average tooth fetching $5.51 compared to $6.59 in 2022.
The survey noted that the tooth fairy’s gifts historically correlated with the performance of the S&P 500, but this trend deviated in the past two years.
In 2022, despite an 18% decline in the S&P 500, the tooth fairy set a record high with an average gift of $6.23.
Conversely, in 2023, while the tooth fairy’s payouts decreased, the S&P 500 rebounded with a 24% gain, reflecting the resilience of the economy amidst challenges such as high interest rates and soaring inflation.
The survey results indicate that even the whimsical tradition of tooth fairy visits is not immune to the economic realities faced by households in an inflationary environment. As families navigate financial pressures, even the small joys of childhood may feel the impact of broader economic trends.
Stocks jump to record close as Nvidia sparks AI frenzy
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both surged to close at record highs on Thursday, fueled by a wave of investor enthusiasm for growth and technology stocks following Nvidia’s stellar earnings report and bullish outlook on artificial intelligence chip demand.
Nvidia’s shares (NVDA.O) skyrocketed after the chip designer projected a nearly three-fold increase in first-quarter revenue, citing robust demand for its AI chips.
The company’s performance surpassed expectations for fourth-quarter revenue, underscoring its position as a leader in the AI market.
The success of Nvidia’s earnings served as a litmus test for the AI-driven rally on Wall Street, particularly after the S&P 500 breached the 5,000-point milestone earlier this month.
Analysts had warned of a potential sell-off in technology stocks if Nvidia’s results fell short. However, the market responded with a surge, propelling both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to record highs.
Unofficial closing data revealed that the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 456.54 points, or 1.18%, to 39,068.78, while the S&P 500 gained 105.14 points, or 2.11%, to 5,086.94.
The Nasdaq Composite also saw significant gains, adding 460.75 points, or 2.96%, to 16,041.62.
Jack Janasiewicz, lead portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, humorously remarked, “As Nvidia goes, so goes the world,” highlighting the company’s influence on market sentiment. Janasiewicz emphasized that Nvidia’s strong earnings dispelled doubts about the sustainability of the AI trade, suggesting further potential for growth.
Nvidia’s market capitalisation surge on Thursday surpassed Meta Platform’s historic $196 billion gain earlier in the month, solidifying its position as a market leader in AI technology.
Maintain its position
Market analysts predict that the S&P 500 will maintain its position above the 5,000 mark throughout the year, according to a Reuters poll.
Most sectors within the S&P 500 experienced gains, with technology stocks leading the charge.
The S&P 500 growth index recorded its largest daily percentage gain since November 2022.
In addition to Nvidia, other companies poised to benefit from the AI boom saw notable increases in their stock prices.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O), Super Micro Computer (SMCI.O), and Arm Holdings all experienced significant jumps.
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