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Majority of Affluent Investors in Australia, Japan and Singapore Say ETFs Have Improved Their Overall Portfolio Performance, State Street Global Advisors’ Survey Finds SPDR® Celebrates the 30 Year Anniversary of the First US ETF, SPDR® S&P 500® ETF Trust

SYDNEY, 26 January 2023: – State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), marked the 30th anniversary of the first ever US-listed exchange traded fund (ETF) this month. Launched on January 22, 1993 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust was later listed on the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX) on October 13, 2014 represented by CHESS Depository Interests (CDI), providing investors with access to the world’s largest economy.

Recent findings from State Street Global Advisors ETF Impact Survey reaffirmed ETFs continue to be an effective vehicle that can help investor confidence. The survey was conducted in November and December 2022, studied over 1,000 investors globally, of which 300 of them were investors with investable assets of US$250,000 in Australia, Japan and Singapore. It was designed to understand investor attitudes and perceptions about ETFs, the market and the economy.

Overall, the perceived benefits ETFs have brought to investors has been overwhelmingly positive. The survey found that investors with an existing ETF holding report containing ETFs benefited from improved overall performance of their portfolio (73% globally and 88% in Japan, 78% in Singapore and 70% in Australia). Furthermore, the majority believe ETFs have made them a better investor (67% globally and 81% in Singapore, 67% in Australia and 64% in Japan).

“The ETF industry has democratized investing, giving investors large and small access to institutional-grade solutions that offer efficient, cost-effective exposures to all corners of the global investment market,” said Rory Tobin, Head of State Street Global Advisors’ Global SPDR ETF Business. “The ETF industry as a whole has demonstrated its resilience throughout major market events ranging from the burst of the late 1990s dot-com bubble, to the global financial crisis of 2008 and, more recently, the extreme pandemic-era volatility.”

ETF Investors Are More Optimistic About Their Investments & Financial Futures

The survey also reaffirmed the positive impact ETF ownership has on investors’ outlook about their own financial futures and the market.

Globally, about four-in-ten investors have ETFs in their investment portfolios, and those who do indicate they:

  • Are more optimistic about their financial future (81% versus 71% of those who do not own ETFs)
  • Are more comfortable with the highs and lows of the market (65% versus 41% of those who do not own ETFs)

Regardless of whether or not they own ETFs in their portfolio, globally, more than half of investors agree ETFs:

  • Are an investor-friendly investment product (58%). In Japan and Singapore, 79% and 66% respondents agreed with this respectively, while in Australia only 46% believed so
  • Are better diversified than other investment products (54%), particularly for Japanese (72%) and Singaporean investors (68%). However, in Australia, only 38% of respondents said the same
  • Offer more liquidity to respond more rapidly to market changes (52%). More investors in Japan (75%) and Singapore (58%) agreed but only 36% Australian investors said so
  • Have a lower expense ratio than mutual funds (51%), which majority of Japanese investors (81%) agreed. 55% and 44% of investors in Singapore and Australia believed that
  • Mitigate risk better in volatile markets compared to other investments (51%). Again, most investors in Japan (79%) and Singapore (59%) said so, while only 34% of respondents in Australia agreed

“Apart from bringing our first US listed ETF to Australia, Japan and Singapore, State Street Global Advisors also created the first ETF in Australia and Singapore in 2001 and 2002 respectively, providing investors the flexibility to buy and sell an entire index of stocks quickly, easily and cost-efficiently,” said Meaghan Victor, Head of SPDR Distribution in Asia Pacific at State Street Global Advisors. “Our ETF Impact survey showed a large percentage of Japanese investors own ETFs and work with financial advisers, which make them more comfortable with highs and lows of the financial markets, and see more benefits of ETFs compared with investors in other parts of the world.”

ETFs: A Generational View

Globally, Millennials have the most positive attitude about ETFs than any other generation surveyed:

  • 81% of Millennials indicate ETFs have improved the overall performance of their portfolio, versus 73% of Gen X and 48% of Boomers.
  • Millennials are the most likely to agree that ETFs provide more liquidity during market volatility at 70%, versus 47% of Gen X and 25% of Boomers.
  • 67% of Millennials believe ETFs are better diversified than other investment products, versus 53% of Gen X and 34% of Boomers.
  • 66% plan to buy ETFs in the next 12 months compared to 46% of Gen X and 20% of Boomers.

Additional Resources:

How SPY Reinvented Investing: The Story of the First US ETF provides a historical look at how the launch of the first US-listed ETF opened the door to markets that were inaccessible to the majority of investors prior to 1993.
State Street Global Advisors’ Global Market Outlook provides perspective on where the markets could be headed and how investors can be positioning their portfolios.

For more resources on ETF basics visit our ETF education landing page.