Skip to Content
ETF Specialist

The Top 10 ETF and Indexing Stories of 2019

This year put an exclamation point at the end of a decade marked by the ascendance of indexing and ETFs.

The past 10 years have been marked by the ascendance of indexing. At the onset of the decade, index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds held a combined $1.6 trillion of investors' assets. This represented 20% of all money invested in U.S. mutual funds and ETFs. At the end of November 2019, assets in ETFs and index mutual funds had risen to $8.2 trillion, amounting to nearly 41% of total fund assets. Here, I share 10 top stories from a year that put an exclamation point at the end of an eventful decade in the realm of indexing and ETFs.

1. The Year of Zero
2019 was the year of zero in ETFs. It began with the launch of the first zero-fee ETFs and ended with commissions for ETF trades being zeroed out. To the extent that this has resulted in significant cost savings for investors, this is something to celebrate. But there is still work to be done. Fund fees can fall even further, and as they come down, investment costs are creeping into other corners--some of which are dimly lit. In this article, I shine a light on some of those areas.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.