Industry leaders gathered in Hollywood, Florida this week to discuss themes and trends for ETFs in 2020.

SunStar Strategic’s president & CEO, Kathryn Morrison, was one of over 2K attendees at the 2020 Inside ETF conference which included four days filled with learnings from industry experts.

Industry experts see four primary themes for ETFs in 2020:

  • Fee wars
  • Nontransparent ETFs
  • Thematic ETFs
  • The ESG explosion

More on these themes from CNBC.


Discussion around ANTs or “active and non-transparent” ETFs was rampant at the Inside ETF Conference. While non-transparent ETFs haven’t launched just yet, the buzz on the street is that American Century will be the first to market.

Should ANTs begin launching, financial advisors will need to start doing some legwork factoring what it might mean for their clients. Financial advisors would have to examine both the ANT and the mutual fund it cloned. They’d have a fiduciary responsibility to choose the ANT over the mutual fund if it did indeed have advantages.

Our friends at Investment News shared highlights from the conference discussing ANTs, fees, and more.


According to ETF Trends, the rise of active ETFs was a popular and persistent topic.

“It’s a case of if you (actively managed mutual funds) can’t beat them (ETFs), join them.” (ETF Trends)

Active fixed-income ETFs currently have $77 billion in AUM. In 2017 and 2018 flows doubled in each of those years. While that number slowed in 2019 with only $21 billion in new assets, some are predicting that new assets will match or event increase pushing the total AUM over $100 billion.


Looking for more information or resources on ETFs?

Does your firm offer ETFs? Not quite sure how to position them? You may find these articles to be of interest:

Marketing ETFs vs. Mutual Funds - Is There a Difference?

Public Relations for ETFs – A Customized Approach


Looking for still more information on ETFs? 

Mutual Funds Holding Steady Despite Allure of ETFs

I’ll Take Half