Top 20 ETFs Held in 401(k) Plans: BrightScope

Vanguard, iShares heavily represented in this year’s list

BrightScope announced the Top 20 exchange-traded funds on Tuesday in the 401(k) and defined contribution industries. The investment research firm said the information was gleaned from 50,000 plans, representing 90% of all 401(k) assets and tallied by the total number of plans in which the ETFs were offered.

“ETFs are off to a slow start in terms of their distribution in 401(k) plans but we expect their prevalence to grow dramatically in the future as plan sponsors begin to understand the benefits of including them on plan menus,” said Mike Alfred, co-founder and CEO of BrightScope. “The risks of ETFs have been wildly exaggerated. In many ways, ETFs are actually less risky than other instruments if the focus is on long-term returns.”

The Top 20 ETFs by plan inclusion are:

1. Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND)

2. iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index (IWF)

3. Vanguard Small Cap Growth (VBK)

4. iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM)

5. iShares Russell 1000 Value Index (IWD)

6. iShares Russell Midcap Value Index (IWS)

7. Vanguard Small Cap (VB)

8. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM)

9. Vanguard Growth (VUG)

10. iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)

11. Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond (BIV)

12. Ultra QQQ ProShares (QLD)

13. SPDR S&P 500 (SPY)

14. iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index (IWO)

15. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

16. iShares Russell 2000 Value Index (IWN)

17. iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury (IEF)

18. iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY)

19. Vanguard Mid Cap (VO)

20. Vanguard Small Cap Value (VBR)

The list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope will regularly publish to provide investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace, according to the company.

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