Midyear ETF Flows Set New Record Of $101B

July 01, 2015

International equities, and currency-hedged strategies in particular, dominated ETF inflows in the first half of 2015. Net inflows totaled a record $101 billion, and total U.S.-listed ETF assets stood at $2.118 trillion at the end of June—6 percent higher than at the end of 2014, and 14 percent higher than a year ago.

Currency hedging has been all the rage, as we’ve writing about all year, with the most popular ETF being the eurozone-focused WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ | B-45). HEDJ has pulled in almost $14 billion so far this year, lifting its assets to nearly $20 billion, according to data compiled by ETF.com.

For U.S. investors grappling with dollar strength, funds like HEDJ have protected solid returns, up more than 14 percent this year. Without that currency hedge that peels out euro weakness, a fund with HEDJ’s holdings would have returned less than 6 percent. HEDJ is also far outperforming the U.S. broad market: The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-98) is barely above zero through June 30.

2015 First Half Flows By Asset

Net Flows ($M) AUM ($M) % of AUM
U.S. Equity -17,666.49 1,155,775.66 -1.53%
International Equity 90,161.54 525,646.59 17.15%
U.S. Fixed Income 20,130.83 300,073.34 6.71%
International Fixed Income 3,109.47 26,331.49 11.81%
Commodities 1,106.70 55,730.56 1.99%
Currency 226.73 1,482.61 15.29%
Leveraged 979.32 24,360.84 4.02%
Inverse 1,375.87 19,037.82 7.23%
Asset Allocation 839.48 5,874.78 14.29%
Alternatives 1,110.57 3,702.98 29.99%
Total 101,374.01 2,118,016.67 4.79%

2015 First Half Top Gainers

Ticker Fund Issuer Flows AUM ($M) Turnover
HEDJ WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity WisdomTree 13,969.81 19,765.15 44,687.00
DBEF Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF Deutsche Bank 10,456.74 12,153.98 16,993.59
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE BlackRock 5,884.69 60,941.33 155,826.69
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market Vanguard 4,770.37 56,151.79 37,947.94
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 Vanguard 4,671.37 32,281.71 40,502.27
DXJ WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity WisdomTree 4,180.81 18,153.86 37,841.97
EWJ iShares MSCI Japan BlackRock 3,239.88 19,591.27 49,861.20
VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe Vanguard 2,777.32 14,242.75 36,627.96
EWG iShares MSCI Germany BlackRock 2,707.50 7,178.74 21,649.57
HEFA iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE BlackRock 2,659.03 2,719.08 4,831.87

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