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2018 smart beta survey

Every year FTSE Russell conducts in-depth research to better understand how smart beta is perceived, considered and used by our various client segments from around the world. Explore highlights from our current surveys, and access previous asset owner and advisor survey results below.

The 2018 FTSE Russell advisor smart beta survey shows a bright future for smart beta among financial advisors in the US, UK and Canada, yet a long way to go toward broad-based knowledge and usage of smart beta strategies.

Notable findings:

A bright future
Outlook on future usage is strong in all three countries (more than half of financial advisors surveyed in the UK & Canada and 40% of those surveyed in the US expect to increase usage).


Show me don’t tell me
Financial advisors in the US & Canada are looking for more information about smart beta before increasing their usage while UK advisors are skeptical as to the benefit. Notably, UK advisors express concern about smart beta strategy performance and short track records. In the US, 47% of advisors say they "don’t know enough about" smart beta strategies.


Strategy over tactics
Only 30% of US, 21% of Canadian, and 27% of UK advisors are using smart beta purely as a tactical tool. Most are using smart beta either purely strategically or as a combination of strategy and tactics.


Diversify, diversify, diversify
Financial advisors in all three countries cited "improve diversification" as their first or second reason for implementing smart beta. Yield and income were high in the UK and Canada, but not so much in the US. Inflation protection was ranked number three for Canada but down at 14th and 15th for the US and UK respectively.


Select your vehicle
The majority of US advisors prefer ETFs for smart beta exposure. Mutual funds and separately managed accounts are the dominant vehicles in the UK and Canada.


Expand your knowledge of smart beta

Review past years' asset owner and advisor survey results, read related blogs and in-depth research, and watch informative videos below.