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Nir Kaissar

These ETFs Save Investors a Trip to the Casino

Gambling is fun, but it’s not a sustainable long-term strategy.

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?

Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Exchange-traded funds are looking for a few good gamblers.

ETFs are famous for tracking simple, broadly diversified indexes cheaply, transparently and tax-efficiently, an ideal combination for long-term investors. The problem for aspiring issuers is that the market for those ETFs is dominated by the big three — BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group and State Street Corp. — which collectively manage 82 percent of ETF assets, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. To stand out, smaller firms are turning to more complex and niche funds.