Exchange-traded funds, a relatively cheap and tax efficient way for individual investors to invest in equities while maintaining a degree of diversification in portfolios, are becoming more popular among wealthier investors and their advisors.

A recent survey of 2010 data from financial advisors conducted by Scott Smith, associate director of the intermediary practice at Cerulli Associates, found that the investor group that had the highest percentage of ETFs in its portfolios turned out to be individuals with between $5 million and $10 million in assets under management. 

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