As a blizzard begins to pummel the East Coast, some 2,000 advisors and other financial professionals will be trying to get to the Miami area for the annual Inside ETFs conference.
The four-day Inside ETFs 2016 event kicks off on Sunday at the Hollywood Diplomat Resort & Spa, with a series of educational workshops on trends in ETF investing, launching and marketing. In the evening, guests will be treated to a pool party complete with screens broadcasting the NFC Championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers; this activity is sponsored by MSCI.
ETF assets in the United States stand at roughly $2.1 trillion, according to ETF.com, the organizer of the industry event, which adds that six out of the 10 most popular ETFs last year were international stock funds focused on developed countries, particularly the eurozone. By 2020, global ETF assets are expected to hit $5 trillion, PwC says in a recent industry report.
On Monday, Vanguard Chairman Bill McNabb will speak about the future of financial advice. His talk follows a panel discussion on fundamental indexing, which includes speakers like Schwab’s Anthony Davidow.
Later in the day, DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach is set to give his thoughts on the economy. After his talk, a group of panelists will debate trends in smart-beta ETF investing; Tom Lydon of ETF Trends will moderate the conversation.
Other speakers on tap for Monday are “Freakonomics” author Stephen Dubner, Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko — sharing 10 “bold predictions” for 2016 — and former-Navy Seal Robert O’Neil, who was a member of the team that ended Osama bin Laden’s life and also helped rescue sea captain Richard Phillips.
A sunset cruise on the Inter-Coastal Waterway is planned for the evening, which is being hosted by S&P Dow Jones Indices and McGraw Hill Financial.
Tuesday’s sessions begin with a talk on the impact of robo-advice and ETF investing by Betterment CEO Jon Stein. Next, Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel will “revisit the raging bull market,” and a smart-beta panel will debate the merits of using these ETFs; the panel will be moderated by Dave Nadig of FactSet. At lunch, John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics will discuss how advisors can stay ahead in the investment field. This will be followed by a look at the five nominees for the “Best ETF of 2015” award; attendees get to cast votes for their favorite.
Using ETFs to produce income, manage volatility, invest in energy firms and MLPs and pick up a stake in gold will be the focus of some afternoon sessions. A group conversation on emerging markets – set to include contrarian investor Marc Faber and Marten Hoekstra of Emerging Global Advisors (and the former head of UBS Americas’ wealth group) – takes place later in the day.
Tuesday night, a cocktail reception will feature the Rebirth Brass Band, a Grammy-Award-winning New Orleans jazz group seen on the HBO series “Treme.” This activity is sponsored by Nasdaq and PowerShares QQQ.
For the last day of the event, Kevin O’Leary of O’Shares Investments will share why he is bullish on ETFs. Panelists will debate the merits of using liquid-alternative ETFs (aka “the new black” financial products), investing in Canadian ETFs and the outlook for the next generation of ETFs in the face of other disruptive technologies.
Faber will discuss his views on the U.S. dollar, and Michael Jones — CIO of RiverFront and the ETF Strategist of the Year — will describe competitive strategies for money managers. The final speaker at Inside ETFs 2016 will be Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab, who will share her top ideas for 2016.