ETFs With More Than 1000% Growth in AUM This Year

The ETF industry has been seeing explosive growth, courtesy of its unique strategies, creativity, transparency, diversification benefits, enhanced tax competences, low turnover and of course, low cost.

Most recently, an environmental, social and governance (ESG) boom and the race to zero fees have been driving the interest in the ETF industry. The continued technological advancement and digital revolution as well as growing awareness have made ESG attractive. Meanwhile, the price war has been heating up with most of the ETFs having an expense ratio of zero or below zero. This war is likely to continue among asset managers in order to attract investors’ money and gain market share.

A rise in thematic investing is also making investors crazy for ETFs as they are jumping on the potential to put their money into a highly specialized theme (or niche investment). This is because thematic ETFs seek to provide exposure to a trend or developing business model through the compilation of securities from multiple sectors. Apart from the ESG-focused theme, cannabis, 5G technology and cloud computing are the hottest trends.

As such, several ETFs have shown speedy growth with AUM rising more than 1,000% this year. Investors should note that a small fund with a lower level of AUM has seen a bigger percentage increase in its assets. Below we have highlighted some fastest-growing ETFs of this year per

FT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Deep Buffer ETF – August DAUG

This ETF saw the largest increase in its AUM from $3.1 million at the end of 2019 to the current $241.4 million. It provides investors with returns that match those of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), up to a cap of 6.58% before fees, expenses & taxes, and 5.91% after fees & expenses, while providing a buffer against Underlying ETF losses between -5% and -30% before fees, expenses & taxes during the period Nov 7, 2019 to Aug 21, 2020. It debuted in the space in early November last year with expense ratio of 0.85% and average daily volume of 149,000 shares.  

Global X Video Games & Esports ETF HERO

This ETF offers exposure to companies that develop or publish video games, facilitate streaming and distribution of video gaming or esports content, own and operate within competitive esports leagues, or produce hardware used in video games and esports, including augmented and virtual reality. This can be easily done by the Solactive Video Games & Esports Index. Holding 40 securities in its basket, the fund is well spread across components with none accounting for more than 8.2%. It charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in average daily volume of 68,000 shares. The ETF has grown from AUM of $1.6 million at the end of 2019 to $90.1 million mainly buoyed by lockdown measures that forced people to find entertainment at home through video games and online sports (read: Video Gaming ETFs Poised to Gain From Soaring Sales).

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF FLIA

This is an actively managed product that invests in a universe of investment-grade government, sovereign and corporate bonds in both developed and emerging markets while seeking to reduce foreign currency risk. It holds 76 bonds in its basket, with each making up for single-digit allocation. The ETF charges 25 bps in annual fees and trades in average daily volume of 90,000 shares. It has seen its AUM growing to $206.4 million from $5.1 million at the end of the last year.

Anfield Equity Sector Rotation ETF AESR

This ETF debuted in the space in December last year. It currently has $59.2 million in AUM compared with $1.8 million at the end of 2019. The fund is actively managed and seeks to outperform traditional large-cap equity indices and styles over full market cycles by investing in various sectors of the equity market.  It has expense ratio of 1.42% and trades in volume of 64,000 shares a day on average.

U.S. Global Jets ETF JETS

This fund provides exposure to the global airline industry, including airline operators and manufacturers from all over the world, by tracking the U.S. Global Jets Index. The product holds 40 securities with American firms accounting for 81.4% of assets while Brazil, Mexico, United Kingdom and France round off the next countries. The ETF has seen its AUM surging to $1.8 billion from $52 million at the end of last year and solid trading volume of nearly 2.4 million shares a day. It charges investors 60 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #4 (Sell) with a High risk outlook (read: Airline ETF Flying With Billion Dollars in AUM).


This ETF saw its AUM increasing to $483.7 million from $32.6 million at the end of 2019. It seeks to generate positive returns during periods of economic growth, preserve capital during periods of economic contraction, and preserve real rates of return during periods of heightened inflation. The fund diversifies its allocation among four asset classes – equities, commodities, Treasury bonds (Treasuries), and Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS). It holds 97 stocks in its basket and charges 50 bps in fees per year. Volume is good as it exchanges 205,000 shares in hand per day on average.

WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund WCLD

This fund offers exposure to emerging, fast-growing U.S.-listed companies (including ADRs) primarily focused on cloud software and services, and follows the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index. It holds 52 stocks in its basket and charges investors 45 bps in fees per year. The product trades in average daily volume of 106,000 shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy). The ETF has grown exponentially from AUM of $14.1 million at the end of 2019 to $199.4 million on stay-at-home orders that have boosted demand for work and entertainment from home (read: U.S. Outperforms YTD: 6 Top-Ranked ETF Winners).

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>

Click to get this free report

Global X Video Games Esports ETF (HERO): ETF Research Reports

U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS): ETF Research Reports

Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF (FLIA): ETF Research Reports

RPAR Risk Parity ETF (RPAR): ETF Research Reports

Anfield U.S. Equity Sector Rotation ETF (AESR): ETF Research Reports

WisdomTree Cloud Computing ETF (WCLD): ETF Research Reports

FT Cboe Vest U.S. Equity Deep Buffer ETF August (DAUG): ETF Research Reports

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


    Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

    Learn More