The Inside ETFs Conference, one of the largest gatherings of investment advisers in the world, begins Monday.
Nearly 2,500 participants are expected in Hollywood, Florida, for four days to debate the future of investing in general and dissect the enormous momentum behind exchange-traded funds.
Last year was the biggest year ever for ETFs — with the biggest inflows ever (nearly $480 billion) and record assets under management ($3.2 trillion). More importantly, ETFs have stopped being an exclusively retail phenomenon. Pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies are not just investing but in some cases founding their own ETF firms. Even insurance firms like Prudential and Hartford now have ETF firms.
Most participants believe the main underlying trends will continue in 2018: Money will continue to flow 1) out of mutual funds, into ETFs, 2) out of active management, into index funds and 3) out of higher-cost funds — both mutual funds and ETFs — and into lower-cost funds, but particularly ETFs.
Here's a rundown of the hot trends everyone is talking about:
Maybe, but it's a very tough sell, as Fuhr points out, "Most active management have not proved they can deliver alpha. Many are moving away from active management and instead using asset allocation with index-based ETFs."
Look for interviews with Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley, NYSE President Tom Farley, VanEck CEO Jan van Eck (who recently withdrew his bitcoin ETF filing) and even music legend Quincy Jones here on CNBC.