While the use of ETFs continues to surge, their low expense ratios appear to be most prized by the ultra-wealthy. Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based consulting and research firm, just reported that 28% of investors own ETFs, but 47% of ultrahigh net worth investors hold them. Those ultra-affluent investors, according to Spectrem, are worth $5 million to $25 million, not counting their main home.

Spectrem notes that 44% of ETF owners have purchased on the recommendation of an advisor, even though employee channel advisors specifically have not been fans due to the ETFs' low fee structure. If that's the case, why do so many UHNW investors—who typically work with one or more advisors—have ETFs?

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