Self-directed investors are opening up to exchange-traded funds in their retirement accounts, an analysis released Monday by Schwab found.
The institutional SDBA Indicators Report found that self-directed investors with brokerage accounts inside their retirement plan allocated 14% of their total portfolio to exchange-traded funds in the first quarter, up two points from a year ago.
Exchange-traded funds were also the only category to grow in net asset allocation, Schwab found.
Mutual funds are still the leading category, though. The report found 41% of overall portfolio allocation was to mutual funds. About a quarter is allocated to individual equities, while cash fell to 18%.
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Average balances in self-directed brokerage accounts grew, too, Schwab found, increasing 1.3% over the fourth quarter and 10.6% over last year to $194,545.
Schwab noted that’s in spite of the S&P having its worst start to a year since 2009, confusion over the Federal Reserve’s intentions on interest rates and worries about China.