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The Death the Mutual Fund: Matthew Murawski Explains Why ETFs May Be a Fit as Part of Your Investment Strategy

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Since the Great Depression, mutual funds have presented a great opportunity for everyday people to invest in the stock market. Rather than risking their fortune on individual winners and losers, investors selected groups of stocks, making them not only a more diversified investment but also more attainable to people who could not afford the high commission fees, in Murawski’s opinion. 

And for decades, mutual fund investing has been touted as a smart, principled financial planning strategy. However, those days may soon be coming to an end. As Goodstein Wealth Management financial planner Matthew Murawski explains, a new generation of investors may usher in a new investment strategy.

“We have a big shift in demographics,” Murawski says. “The Baby Boomer advisor has almost all classic mutual funds. But now, an exchange-traded fund does the same basic principle, but they are typically a lot less expensive and are more transparent and tax efficient.”

One of the most important distinctions between mutual funds and ETFs are the costs associated with each. Although Murawski still uses a few mutual funds, most of his portfolio contains ETFs – for the simple reason that they are generally less expensive and more efficient in his opinion.

“There are zero trading costs for an ETF,” Murawski says. “I can buy the S&P 500 index ETF for about a .03 expense ratio and not pay a commission. I can buy it or sell it whenever I want. But if I buy the same thing in a mutual fund, I’m going to pay a $12, $14, $16 commission every time through our custodian, TD Ameritrade.” 

With many Baby Boomer investors and advisors retiring, the guidance is beginning to shift toward a younger generation. And according to Murawski, new advisors and this new investing class are overwhelmingly choosing ETFs.

“I don’t know anybody under 40 buying mutual funds,” Murawski says. “If I said to a client under 40, we’re buying mutual funds in an account, a majority of them will ask, why aren’t we buying ETFs?”

This gradual transition from mutual funds to ETFs is being seen throughout the investment world. ETF.com has projected that in the near future, ETF assets will exceed mutual fund assets. And traditional mutual fund advisors are beginning to take notice. They are trying to adapt to the changes in the market, as well as changes in investment strategy, to maintain relevance with a new generation of investors.

“In my opinion, investors under 30 will never own mutual funds,”  Murawski says. “It would be like selling them a Discman. It is almost out of style. So mutual fund companies are being forced to change and come out with ETF versions of the same mutual funds.”

Another way that mutual fund companies are able to adjust is by offering what they call clean shares – dramatically reducing the cost of buying mutual funds. These represent important changes in the way mutual fund companies compete with the emergence of ETFs.

“In my opinion, In the end, those that are not innovating are losing massive amounts of assets,” Murawski says. “The pandemic alone brought millions of new investors into the market. And I do not feel those investors are not going to buy mutual funds.”

In the end, it comes down to cost and performance – and many actively managed mutual funds are not outperforming their benchmarks enough to justify their cost. Instead, investors are choosing ETFs, which can give them nearly the exact same thing at a lower price.

“When you don’t outperform and you charge more, it’s problematic,” Murawski says. “In my opinion, mutual fund companies are either dying or they’re innovating and moving toward a different structure.”

Matthew Murawski is a financial planner with Goodstein Wealth Management. He provides personalized wealth management advice to the firm’s 401(k) clients as well as his own individual clients. Murawski educates investors to help them work towards being positioned for long-term financial growth.

To learn more about Murawski and Goodstein Wealth Management, visit www.goodsteinwm.com or connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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