The investing world is very different today than it was on Oct. 14, 2009, which was the first significant close above 10,000 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the financial crisis.
In those seven years, exchange-traded funds have gone from a small business with about $745 billion in assets under management and roughly 800 ETFs to today, when ETFs have roughly $2.5 trillion in assets under management with nearly 2,000 funds.
The Inside ETFs Conference in Hollywood, Florida, is entering its final day, and participants are marveling at how much — and how quickly — the industry has grown.
Behind it are two powerful trends: first, a move toward indexing rather than stock picking, or active management. Second, a desire to pay lower fees; ETFs are significantly cheaper than mutual funds.