Do ETFs cause volatility? 5 questions about ETFs

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The "Inside ETF" conference is in full swing, with a record 2,200 participants jamming the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.

Here are the five questions I am most commonly asked about exchange-traded funds

1) How big is the ETF business?  

It's big and getting bigger. There is $2.1 trillion in ETF assets under management in the U.S. At the end of 2015, $3 trillion worldwide. That is still small in comparison to the roughly $11 trillion in assets under management at mutual funds, but the mutual funds have been steadily losing assets for years.

ETFs are cheaper and more tax efficient than most mutual funds. They are simply a better deal for most investors. There are now north of 1,600 ETFs, and more than 70 ETF providers.