In 2020 alone, more than 10 million Americans opened brokerage accounts,1 and demand for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has risen as a result—more than 140 new ETFs have already launched in 2021.2
“This record growth is driven by a number of factors, from commission-free trading to Covid-19 dynamics to the mainstream adoption of digital platforms,” says Armando Senra, head of iShares Americas. “In the U.S., we estimate that around 22 million people now own iShares ETFs.”3
Why ETFs? Because they offer investors a low-cost way to pursue their financial goals. Most ETFs seek to track the returns of an underlying index, like the S&P 500, which ultimately gives investors easy access to diversified markets, all without having to research and pick from among thousands of individual stocks and bonds.
“ETFs provide a tremendous amount of access and value, allowing anyone to invest alongside some of the most sophisticated investors in the world in the same way, with the same capabilities and at the same costs,” says Senra.
While ETFs were developed in the 1990s and indexing as an investment strategy has been around even longer, this investment product has been garnering a lot of attention lately.