Exchange traded funds have seen some explosive growth over the
past decade. A strong
in the U.S and overseas and low expense ratios have propelled
investor demand for the investment vehicles.
market managed nearly $1.7 trillion in assets with 1,294 funds at
year-end 2013, according to the Investment Company Institute. The
U.S. by far has the largest share of ETFs, accounting for 72% of
the $2.3 trillion ETF assets worldwide.
In second place, Europe-based funds make up only 17% of total
assets, while Africa and Asia-Pacific ETFs take up 8%.
To keep up with investors' appetite for ETFs,
firms have offered a greater number of funds as well as variety,
including ETFs that invest in particular market sectors and
At year-end 2013, there were 311 commodity and sector ETFs,
managing $267 billion in assets. The biggest share of those 311,
24%, were commodity ETFs, followed by natural resources at 16%
and technology at 13%.
Commodity ETFs also had the most assets, although their share
of net assets was down sharply at 24% from 47% a year earlier due
to declining gold and silver prices.