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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Expect SPY to Continue to Dominate

News summary by MFWire's editors

It's been 20 years since State Street Global Advisors [profile]launched the revolutionary SPY ETF tracking the S&P 500 index, and ETF guru Debbie Fuhr expects SPY to continue to dominate going forward.

After leading ETF research for BlackRock, Fuhr launched her own consulting shop, ETF Global Insight. In a new interview with IndexUniverse, Fuhr reflects on the ETF industry and argues that SPY (which had $123 billion on December 31, 2012) will be hard to dethrone.

"Even when people have come out with less expensive S&P 500 products that do securities lending and that reinvest dividends -- and which, in a rising market, you would say would likely have slightly better performance because they don't have the cash drag -- you haven't seen those products take away significant assets," Fuhr said.

Fuhr said that she expects the user base for ETFs to expand and change as active mutual fund giants like Fidelity, Hartford, Legg Mason and T. Rowe Price enter the active ETF business. Fuhr also sees so-called ETF strategists (asset allocators who build portfolios out of ETFs) on the rise and capable of generating alpha. And she argued that, thanks to Schwab and others, ETF use in 401(k) plans "is something to watch."

"When you have someone who has aligned interests in both the 401(k) and ETF markets, it's more likely we'll see viable solutions that really work for ETFs to fit into 401(k)s, and I think that could be quite significant," Fuhr said.

For more of Fuhr's ETF industry insights, read the full interview on IndexUniverse

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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