On our most recent radio broadcast, we explained why 2012 has been yet another record-breaking year for ETF growth, with U.S. ETF assets eclipsing $1.3 trillion. With the underperformance of actively managed mutual funds and the challenges of trying to select individual stocks and bonds, investors are gravitating to low cost, index-based ETFs. And it should be noted that it's not just "everyday" retail investors who are flocking to ETFs. Consider the elite "Tiger 21" group of investors with at least $10 million in investable assets who now count ETFs among their top holdings. You might be surprised to learn the biggest reason why these wealthy, sophisticated investors prefer ETFs and where they rank mutual funds on their list of investments.
In our weekly market update, we discussed the Fed's latest round of monetary stimulus and whether Ben Bernanke has any tools left his toolbox should the economy fail to respond or worse, plummet over the dreaded fiscal cliff. In our ETF spotlight segment, we delved into an ETF offering exposure to both developed and emerging countries in Asia (ticker AAXJ). We also compared this ETF to a similar mutual fund that can levy a significant toll (see load) just for the privilege of investing in it.