Monthly ETF Flows
By
ETF.com Staff
November 20, 2014
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Investors took on risk in February, plowing new money into emerging markets and junk bonds.

 

Investors poured money into relatively risky emerging markets in February, making the world’s two biggest developing-markets ETFs the most popular funds. Overall, inflows totaled $13.8 billion and, including the market’s gains, total assets rose to over $1.201 trillion—4.4 percent more than a month earlier and 13.7 percent above February 2011.

While total inflows were about half of last month’s $28 billion blowout, it’s clear in the numbers that investors were taking on a lot more risk, as emerging markets are much more volatile than developed markets. Almost $5.4 billion flowed into international equities in February, compared with just $142.7 million of net inflows into U.S. equities.

Moreover, $4.15 billion flowed into U.S. fixed-income ETFs last month, with nearly half of that figure coming from the ETF market’s two biggest junk bond funds, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse. That move into junk was another sign of growing investor boldness, as high-yield debt often rallies as equity markets build up a bullish head of steam.

The Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) was the most-popular exchange-traded fund last month, gathering $2.46 billion in new assets, making it the top fund two months in a row. Riding the success of VWO, Vanguard hauled in $5.64 billion last month, more than any other ETF company. It’s still No. 3 behind iShares and State Street Global Advisors, but it’s slowly bridging the gap.

Lest last month’s flows report suggests the world economy is finally putting the economic turmoil of the past few years in the rearview mirror, the world’s biggest physical gold ETF (NYSEArca: GLD) was the No. 3 fund on our “Top Gainers” list, suggesting investors are still plenty worried about what lies ahead, even if debt-gorged Greece is on the verge of receiving a second bailout.

 

Top Gainers ($, Millions)
Ticker Name Issuer February 2012 Flows February 2012 AUM ($, M) February 2012 Turnover
VWO Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets Vanguard 2,458.93 55,083.40 21,651.00
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets BlackRock 1,447.68 41,056.79 47,402.90
GLD SPDR Gold SSgA 1,297.08 73,592.21 45,226.20
JNK SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond SSgA 1,137.53 11,930.80 4,319.13
VXX iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Barclays Capital 907.62 1,660.39 17,250.56
HYG iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond BlackRock 813.11 14,258.76 5,072.14
LQD iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond BlackRock 809.39 19,563.38 4,645.63
VCIT Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Vanguard 552.26 1,747.41 851.88
DEM WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income WisdomTree 477.13 3,330.46 936.98
VNQ Vanguard REIT Vanguard 473.73 10,691.73 2,815.04

 

Asset Class Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 142.65 533,171.31 0.03%
International Equity 5,390.70 296,656.88 1.82%
U.S. Fixed Income 4,149.72 191,577.08 2.17%
International Fixed Income 395.97 13,893.92 2.85%
Commodities 2,907.21 122,537.76 2.37%
Currency -285.85 3,864.91 -7.40%
Leveraged -465.82 13,820.40 -3.37%
Inverse 498.38 20,300.24 2.46%
Asset Allocation 19.61 1,070.54 1.83%
Alternatives 1,045.91 4,231.08 24.72%
Total: 13,798.48 1,201,124.13 1.15%

 

February 2012 League Table
Issuer Net Flows AUM ($M) % of AUM Turnover
BlackRock 3,059.37 501,877.42 0.61% 334,437.26
SSgA -549.97 296,200.58 -0.19% 596,628.26
Vanguard 5,635.93 199,623.11 2.82% 46,770.35
Invesco PowerShares 1,472.43 69,063.34 2.13% 80,405.79
Van Eck -100.88 26,601.85 -0.38% 27,324.71
ProShares 355.07 22,920.10 1.55% 65,751.58
WisdomTree 900.33 15,142.76 5.95% 4,171.68
Rydex -155.31 8,241.84 -1.88% 7,127.56
Barclays Capital 982.26 7,894.96 12.44% 20,488.06
First Trust 270.03 7,541.70 3.58% 2,115.09
Direxion -315.44 7,114.68 -4.43% 64,943.14
Charles Schwab 366.39 6,322.85 5.79% 1,254.99
ETF Securities 210.10 4,417.39 4.76% 1,366.37
JPMorgan Chase 354.73 4,238.87 8.37% 1,269.71
Guggenheim 290.15 3,833.37 7.57% 998.21
PIMCO -351.38 3,744.26 -9.38% 1,282.04
US Commodity Funds 469.77 3,394.89 13.84% 12,042.23
ALPS 336.74 2,892.53 11.64% 715.29
Global X 32.49 1,392.57 2.33% 426.32
Merrill Lynch 16.35 1,366.04 1.20% 258.24
VelocityShares 336.50 1,165.22 28.88% 9,802.10
UBS -36.32 1,038.82 -3.50% 198.03
Emerging Global Shares 41.91 679.19 6.17% 134.97
GreenHaven 57.06 676.88 8.43% 140.58
FlexShares 47.68 652.05 7.31% 79.26
IndexIQ 23.38 489.69 4.77% 77.02
RevenueShares -4.57 489.54 -0.93% 75.28
Credit Suisse 38.98 434.97 8.96% 102.81
AdvisorShares 12.69 421.60 3.01% 140.45
Russell 20.66 290.77 7.11% 58.57
Precidian 14.33 193.01 7.42% 39.81
Deutsche Bank - 177.76 0.00% 8.41
RBS Securities 4.35 140.34 3.10% 35.56
Jefferies 5.02 106.32 4.72% 18.13
FocusShares 2.57 89.58 2.87% 28.98
Teucrium -0.48 82.37 -0.58% 38.47
FFCM - 44.22 0.00% 2.01
Morgan Stanley - 31.87 0.00% 1.62
Goldman Sachs -49.17 30.10 -163.34% 11.92
Columbia - 22.74 0.00% 4.38
FactorShares - 18.66 0.00% 12.54
Pax World 2.33 14.26 16.36% 11.51
CitiGroup 2.38 9.08 26.27% 5.89
Fidelity - - - 22.73

 

 

Appetite For Risk

Following VWO, which grew by 10 percent last month to become a fund with more than $55 billion in assets, the other huge ETF in the developing-markets space, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSEArca: EEM), was second in creations.

Investors poured $1.45 billion into EEM, and its assets also climbed about 10 percent, to just over $41 billion.

A third developing-markets ETF on our top 10 creations list was the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund (NYSEArca: DEM). It pulled in more than $477 million in new money, and its total assets shot up by almost a quarter, to $3.33 billion.

As noted, the interest in junk bond funds also reflected increased risk appetite.

Investors added $1.14 billion to the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK) and another $813.1 million to the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: HYG).

Gold Bulls And Other Bearish Tales

The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), SSgA’s physical bullion ETF, meanwhile gathered $1.30 billion in fresh assets, as some investors continued to fret about underlying weakness in the global economy as well as the inflationary effect of the easy-money policies in much of the developed world.

The suspicion that markets have perhaps become too placid in recent weeks could also be seen in creations of more than $900 million in the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX).

The world of VIX-related exchange-traded products was in the headlines in the past week when the VelocityShares Daily 2X VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSEArca: TVIX), a popular double-exposure long VIX exchange-traded note, halted creations because assets were flowing in too quickly.

Indeed, with nearby CBOE Volatility, or VIX, futures below $20, a fair number of investors have been going long securities like VXX and TVIX, expecting something would roil markets again, such as more missteps in the eurozone or violence in the oil-rich Middle East. VIX futures were at $50 last summer when Standard & Poor’s downgraded U.S. debt, and traded around $80 when financial markets in unraveled in 2008.

Investors meanwhile pulled $1.22 billion out of the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (NYSEArca: EFA) a fund focused on developed-market equities outside of North America. EFA was the No. 2 fund on our “Biggest Losers” table.

Last month’s least popular fund was the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), and the iShares S&P 500 Index Fund (NYSEArca: IVV) was the No. 3 fund on the monthly redemptions list. SPY bled $3.56 billion while IVV had outflows of $805.3 million.

It’s hard to know exactly why the funds lost assets during a month when the S&P 500 Index rose more than 4 percent, but it’s just possible investors were ditching the biggest and most liquid ETFs for riskier pockets of the market.

 

Biggest Losers ($, Millions)
Ticker Name Issuer February 2012 Flows February 2012 AUM ($, M) February 2012 Turnover
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA - 3,563.72 99,595.05 409,819.71
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE BlackRock - 1,223.83 39,415.90 21,776.60
IVV iShares S&P 500 BlackRock -805.32 28,477.25 11,109.36
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market Vanguard -756.90 20,766.88 3,937.58
DIA SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Trust SSgA -640.10 11,826.71 17,757.19
XLU Utilities Select SPDR SSgA -488.52 6,324.57 4,494.25
XLF Financial Select SPDR SSgA -461.92 6,382.61 19,806.19
IEF iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond BlackRock -440.09 4,637.40 2,099.58
EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil BlackRock -414.42 10,568.94 19,994.51
SHY iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond BlackRock -413.99 10,651.72 3,253.75

 

ETF Giants ($, Millions)
Ticker Name Issuer February 2012 Flows February 2012 AUM ($, M) February 2012 Turnover
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA -3,563.72 99,595.05 409,819.71
GLD SPDR Gold SSgA 1,297.08 73,592.21 45,226.20
VWO Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets Vanguard 2,458.93 55,083.40 21,651.00
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets BlackRock 1,447.68 41,056.79 47,402.90
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE BlackRock -1,223.83 39,415.90 21,776.60
QQQ PowerShares QQQ Invesco PowerShares 212.28 33,268.32 69,616.23
IVV iShares S&P 500 BlackRock -805.32 28,477.25 11,109.36
TIP iShares Barclays TIPS Bond BlackRock -153.93 22,888.95 2,846.82
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market Vanguard -756.90 20,766.88 3,937.58
LQD iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond BlackRock 809.39 19,563.38 4,645.63

 

Liquidity Mavens
Ticker Name Issuer February 2012 Flows February 2012 AUM ($, M) February 2012 Turnover
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA -3,563.72 99,595.05 409,819.71
IWM iShares Russell 2000 BlackRock 117.11 16,017.52 83,177.56
QQQ PowerShares QQQ Invesco PowerShares 212.28 33,268.32 69,616.23
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets BlackRock 1,447.68 41,056.79 47,402.90
GLD SPDR Gold SSgA 1,297.08 73,592.21 45,226.20
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE BlackRock -1,223.83 39,415.90 21,776.60
XLE Energy Select SPDR SSgA 468.02 8,445.96 21,703.18
VWO Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets Vanguard 2,458.93 55,083.40 21,651.00
TNA Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3x Direxion -43.32 853.55 20,316.33
EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil BlackRock -414.42 10,568.94 19,994.51

 

ETF DAILY DATA

SPY and a host of value-focused U.S. equity ETFs raked in money Thursday, Dec. 18, as the S&P 500 jumped 2.4 percent on the day, helping propel total U.S.-listed ETF assets to $1.977 trillion

A slew of iShares funds, including 'IWM' and 'TLT,' paced BlackRock's issuer-leading inflows on Thursday, Dec. 18, as total U.S.-listed ETF assets jumped to $1.977 trillion.

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