Firing line  

'It's not just about the products, it's about about what you stand for'

Mr Parkin says: “Investors want to be more nimble around how they move around their portfolio.

“Think about today and how potentially your shorter-term view of the UK has changed and you see how markets are reacting. I’m not saying all investors will change their view on a whim, but they may have prepared themselves for the moment.

“That’s where one of the key unique selling points of ETFs is: the ability to move around a portfolio tactically.”

Thematic growth

Since BlackRock’s acquisition of iShares in 2009, the division’s assets under management has grown to $2tn (£1.6tn), and is expected to double in the next five years. 

BlackRock has predicted index usage in UK wealth portfolios is expected to grow by 50 per cent in next two years. 

Another area of ETFs that is growing in popularity is thematics.

With the iShares Ageing Population Ucits ETF, investors have the option of investing in golf courses in Japan, cruising companies in China or DIY stores in America.

Mr Parkin says: “It is one that took us by surprise in terms of how popular it became. 

“People were looking for a different story other than the familiar asset allocation story.

“Thematic investing allows people who are not familiar with investing to understand it.”

Mr Parkin says his drive to get people excited about their money is rooted in his passion for financial inclusion and building up the level of financial literacy in the UK.

Research by Nutmeg, published in June, showed 60 per cent of UK teachers say students leave school with a poor level of financial understanding.

Mr Parkin says: “In the UK, we have done a huge amount on physical health and we have done some on mental health. 

“Where we are really lagging is the financial health. It is absolutely critical that we deliver financial inclusion.”

Ima Jackson-Obot is deputy features editor of Financial Adviser and FTAdviser.com