The ongoing rise of Vanguard in the world of ETFs is a story that keeps giving investors a lot to cheer about.
We’ve long been expecting Vanguard, the low-cost pioneer in the fund industry, to pass State Street Global Advisors to become the second-biggest ETF sponsor, and now it’s just about a done deal.
As the table below shows, the company John Bogle built now has about $390 billion in ETF assets, or just $4 billion less than SSgA, the company that brought the first U.S. exchange-traded fund to market 21 years ago. One day of sizable outflows from that fund, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY | A-98) the world’s biggest ETF, would probably do it. So go ahead and hold your breath.
|Top 20 ETF Sponsors By Assets|
|US Commodity Funds||2,428||2,084||3,140||2,886||4,962|
To be clear, ETF.com reporting on this change in the ETF League Table and interpreting what it all means isn’t about acknowledging bragging rights for Vanguard.
Nor is this a screed about how SSgA may have squandered a first-to-market advantage. SSgA is a perfectly credible ETF company, with some cutting-edge moves recently. Those include the rollout of a lineup of “Quality Mix” factor-focused ETFs as well as the launch of the now $605 million SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan ETF (SRLN | B), making it one of the most successful active ETF rollouts ever.
Instead, the reason we should all celebrate the rise of Vanguard and the rise of Vanguard ETFs is because it shows that investors are truly getting a fair shake. And it’s important to take measure of how Vanguard is spreading its influence throughout the world of money management.
Since its first ETF, the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI | A-100), came to market in 2001, the company has steadily been climbing the ETF League Tables, even as its legacy open-end mutual fund franchise has continued to build assets.