Atlanta (July 23, 2003) -- Non-wrap mutual funds were cited as the most widely used investment product, both in terms of the number of practitioners using mutual funds and the percent of client assets allocated to funds, according to a report by the Financial Planning Association and Financial Research Corp.

Among 603 firms surveyed, 92 percent use mutual funds and on average, hold 46 percent of client assets in mutual funds, according to the report, “Understanding the Delivery of Advice and Financial Planning Services.” Individual securities ranked as the second most widely used investment product, with 493 firms indicating that they allocate, on average, 16 percent of client assets to individual stocks and/or bonds. Variable and fixed annuities came in third, used by 476 respondents, followed by mutual fund wrap programs.

Three-quarters of the 276 respondents currently using mutual fund wrap programs said they plan to increase their use of fund wrap programs over the next few years, while 52 percent of firms that aren’t currently using wrap fund programs plan to begin using them, FPA reported.

Seventy-six percent of the 201 respondents currently using separately managed accounts plan to increase their use of those accounts, and 143 respondents not currently using them said they plan to begin using SMAs. Among 163 respondents currently using exchange-traded funds, 71 percent plan to increase their usage, while another 163 respondents not currently using ETFs plan to begin using them, FPA said.

-- WebCPA staff

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