Advisors are increasingly using and recommending exchange-traded funds, more so than all other investment vehicles, according to a survey by the Journals of Financial planning and the FPA Research and Practice Institute.

The 2014 Trends in Investing survey found that 79 percent of advisors now use or recommend ETFs, almost double the 40 percent who did so in 2006.

In addition, 39 percent of advisors surveyed in March expect to increase their use of ETFs over the next year, the highest anticipated increase among 17 investment products.

That contrasts sharply with annuities; of the 288 advisors surveyed, just 41 percent use or recommend variable annuities, compared to a high of 58 percent in both 2006 and 2008, and just 29 percent of planners are using or recommending fixed annuities for clients, down from a high of 49 percent in 2010.

The survey also showed an increased use of cash and equivalents since 2006, when just 53 percent of advisors were using or recommending them, compared to 70 percent today.

“The study seems to point to a shift toward investments with greater transparency and liquidity,” said Valerie Porter, director of the FPA Research and Practice Institute. “Perhaps advisors are responding to consumers’ demand for lower-cost investments that allow them to be more nimble in their investment approach. And I think it’s safe to say everyone values cash a little more since last decade’s market collapse.”

Among other key findings: While 50 percent of advisors said they don’t plan to decrease the use or recommendation of any investment vehicles in the next 12 months, 15 percent will decrease use of individual bonds, and 16 percent will decrease use of non-wrap mutual funds.

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