A multi-year shift by investors out of equity mutual funds and into equity exchange-traded funds is now broadening to include fixed income, too, as investors seek lower fees as well as the relative ease of shifting asset allocations afforded by ETFs.

"We're seeing a continuing trend over the past 12 months of investors moving out of equities and into bonds," Jennifer Grancio, iShares Global Head of Business Development at BlackRock, says. When it comes to ETFs, this trend is being magnified investors turning away from mutual funds and into ETFs, Grancio says. And, according to a study recently released by BlackRock, entitled "ETF Landscape: Industry Highlights," exchange-traded product assets have hit $1.7 trillion globally.

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