Sizing Up Demand For ETFs From Assets To Launches

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Cinthia Murphy, Managing Editor,

The latest tally of investor demand for ETFs show that so far in 2018 investors have poured almost $150 billion of fresh net money into various pockets of the ETF market.

Even though market pundits are now busy pointing out that the U.S. stock market is about to break a record for longest running bull market, investors continue to buy into U.S. equity ETFs—the segment is the year’s most popular, raking in about $52.8 billion in net assets.

In July alone, U.S. equity ETFs led the month’s asset flows to total $27 billion. Funds like the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV), the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) were among the month’s most in-demand strategies.

Not far behind is the appetite for U.S. fixed income, which, as a segment, has now seen net creations near $50 billion year-to-date. Funds like iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF (SHV) and the massive $55 billion iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) are among the year’s most popular, with net inflows totaling $7 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively.

In all, the U.S. ETF market now has $3.628 trillion in total assets.

Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)

Ticker Name Issuer Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($M) % of AUM July 2018 Net Flows($,M)
IEFA iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF BlackRock 18,070.97 58,969.03 44.19% 0.00
IEMG iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF BlackRock 9,154.06 48,995.43 22.98% 1,185.89
SHV iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF BlackRock 7,102.33 15,116.50 88.62% 176.63
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF Vanguard 6,429.91 94,336.68 7.31% 639.82
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF Vanguard 4,670.79 71,519.45 6.99% -85.19
VTV Vanguard Value ETF Vanguard 4,593.85 41,912.69 12.31% 1,530.90
AGG iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF BlackRock 4,498.02 55,840.40 8.76% 710.40
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF Vanguard 4,398.74 101,212.12 4.54% 1,115.06
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF BlackRock 4,327.34 44,647.27 10.73% 887.10
FLOT iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF BlackRock 4,021.17 10,645.23 60.71% 239.34

Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 52,833.21 2,065,565.85 2.56%
International Equity 31,726.34 809,700.86 3.97%
U.S. Fixed Income 49,821.68 561,381.33 8.87%
International Fixed Income 7,176.74 63,789.84 11.25%
Commodities 848.46 63,072.67 1.35%
Currency -40.49 1,156.48 -3.50%
Leveraged 3,039.29 37,154.55 8.18%
Inverse 2,317.98 12,794.75 18.12%
Asset Allocation 618.32 9,399.14 6.58%
Alternatives 169.35 4,483.89 3.78%
Total: 148,508.46 3,628,499.35 4.10%

Another interesting tally of U.S.-listed ETFs shows that the market could be about to set new records this year for both new ETF launches as well as ETF closures.

Through the end of July, 2018 ETF closures and launches are outpacing levels seen in 2017 levels, which was an impressive year to begin with.

We’ve already seen 97 exchange-traded products close so far in 2018, a number that includes the unusual closure of 50 Barclays iPath ETNs in April.

On the flip side, issuers have brought to market 143 new ETFs this year—up from 127 year-earlier figures. A new record is in sight for 2018 launches if this pace continues. The most successful ETF launch of the year has been the JPMorgan BetaBuilders Japan ETF (BBJP), which is nearing $1.8 billion in total assets in just over a month.

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

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

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