Thursday, March 10, 2011

Malkiel Likes To Random Walk With ETFs

Burton Malkiel, legendary investment theorist and author of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street," likes what ETFs do for the retail investor.  He has long endorsed the use of low-cost index investing so it's good to see him climb on the ETF bandwagon.  It would be great if he could mention their value in a covered call writing strategy.  Malkiel's further endorsement of high-frequency trading makes less sense.  It doesn't take a million trades per nanosecond to arbitrage an ETF's value into line with its holdings. 

He's not the only voice in finance pushing for more attention to ETFs.  Charles Schwab's study noting the favor independent advisors show towards ETFs is only slightly disingenuous.  Schwab is one of the most popular platforms for independent RIAs, so throwing them a bone is good marketing.  It also helps that this release is timed with the rollout of Schwab's ETF-selection tool.  Gotta hand it to Uncle Charlie. 

Full disclosure:  No position in SCHW at this time.