Is the growth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continues to surge in Australia, leading financial services education provider Kaplan Professional and global investment manager BlackRock have worked together to launch an industry first ETF short course. Designed specifically for financial advisers, ETFs and Portfolio Construction focuses on global investment trends with an emphasis on the increasing popularity of ETFs. The 100% online short course is available through Ontrack, Kaplan Professional’s market-leading and state-of-the-art continuing education platform. Six modules make up the short course, each taking approximately one hour to complete. They include: Overview of the ETF market An introduction to ETFs Liquidity and trading ETFs: New ways of investing Choosing the right ETF Portfolio construction Kaplan Professional CEO Brian Knight said he was delighted to work with BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager. “We know advisers are wanting continuing education that will interest them, improve them, and increase their ability to specialise. “This is why Kaplan Professional is focused on offering as many opportunities as possible for advisers to extend their competence, knowledge and skills in emerging, niche and specialist areas – our work with BlackRock and the ETF short course is just another example. “Advisers are increasingly using ETFs in client portfolios as a way to add further diversification; the short course will help them to effectively incorporate ETFs in the portfolio construction process. “Throughout the short course, advisers will explore new ways of investing, including fixed income ETFs, factor investing and thematic ETFs. They will also learn how to compare and contrast the different types of ETFs available, and analyse the key considerations to evaluate which one to invest in,” he said. BlackRock Australasia Head of Wealth Chantal Giles said the ETF short course was part of their unwavering commitment to investor advocacy and education in Australia. “BlackRock is excited to work with Kaplan Professional to develop a tailored course specifically for advisers to enhance their understanding of exchange traded products (ETPs) in the context of their whole portfolio. “The exponential growth in the Australian ETP landscape has democratised access to a broad range of investment strategies, asset classes, thematics, and geographies. At the same time, the proliferation of products has also meant investors are increasingly looking to their advisers for guidance and information to discern what ETP best fits their risk/return preferences. “BlackRock believes it is even more important for advisers to learn to look at other product considerations including product structure, benchmark, as well as total cost of ownership,” she said. On completion of the short course, advisers will receive a certificate of completion and be eligible to receive a digital badge. This is one of the first Kaplan Professional short courses to offer digital badging. Advisers who complete the short course and have received their certificate of attainment will also be eligible to receive BlackRock’s iShares ETF certification.