In early September, we announced the launch of The ETF Institute and the Certified ETF Advisor (CETF®) designation. The ETF Institute is the first and only independent organization providing advisors and industry professionals with certification, education, and training on ETFs. As the year winds down, I wanted to provide a quick update on our first three months of operations and what we have in store for early 2022.
Simply put, I have been blown away by the initial reception. We knew there was a need for better ETF education, but the demand has exceeded even our lofty expectations. We are now over 100 registrants and are in discussions with numerous ETF issuers and financial advisory firms to become an integral part of their employee training process. There are several insights gleaned from the many conversations we’ve had:
- The ETF Institute solves an important training bottleneck for ETF issuers, especially for mid-sized and larger firms. ETF issuers hire the best and brightest, but they don’t always have a streamlined way to quickly get their new hires up-to-speed on ETFs. The CETF® coursework solves that problem. In addition, ETF issuers are huge proponents of continuing education for all of their existing employees. They love the idea of ensuring everyone from wholesalers to back-office personnel are current on foundational ETF knowledge. While that’s not necessarily surprising, the genuine commitment here is noteworthy.
- The CETF program also solves a critical need for financial advisory firms. While we knew that going in, we have been pleasantly surprised to learn just how eager firms are to ensure their advisory teams have the ETF knowledge to properly serve clients. Executives at RIAs and broker/dealers are witnessing the ETF space mushroom and want to lead from the front.
- Both ETF issuers and financial advisory firms are interested in collaborating to ensure our educational content meets their specific training needs. This is highly exciting as we always envisioned The ETF Institute as a collaborative endeavor, partnering with key constituents from across the industry to ensure a world-class ETF learning experience.
Out of the over 100 individuals who have registered and are either in the process of studying (good luck!) or have already completed the exam (congrats to all the new CETFs!), the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are proactively engaging in constructive dialogue with members in an effort to continually refine and enhance our educational offering. This includes ensuring our training modules are up-to-date and reflect the constant innovation occurring in the space. We recently released a module on ETF closures/delistings and will be releasing new modules on bitcoin futures ETFs and mutual fund to ETF conversions in the next few weeks.
In addition to the educational content, we want to ensure a high-quality user experience. We recently released Phase 2 enhancements to the website, which included streamlining the member onboarding process, enhanced account profiles, continuing education tracking, and tweaks to the exam structure. We already have a list of Phase 3 enhancements scheduled for early next year.
Speaking of next year, here are several other initiatives to keep an eye out for in January:
- Guest Bloggers. We are lining-up thought-provoking writers from across the industry to offer their unique perspectives on ETFs and ETF education. If interested in participating, reach out to Devin Bos, our Vice President of Operations, at email@example.com or direct message him on Twitter.
- Twitter Spaces. Twice a month, Devin will be hosting a Twitter Spaces with industry experts to discuss ETF topics in detail. For example, our first Spaces will feature a conversation around daily authorized participant interaction and communication. Yes, I’ll be popping into these occasionally as well! Again, reach out to Devin if you’re interested in participating as a speaker.
- Featured CETF®s. We’ll be spotlighting new CETF®s so you can hear their stories and ask them about their ETF Institute experience. We are big believers in transparency, so you can contact them directly and hear the good, bad, and ugly.
Stay tuned… more is on the way as we continue working to bring ETF education mainstream! As always, don’t hesitate to email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me directly at email@example.com.