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Q1 Global ETF Flows Top $70B, DXJ Stars

Q1 Global ETF Flows Top $70B, DXJ Stars

Related ETFs: GLD | EEM | EWJ | DXJ | SPY | IVV
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Investors poured more than $18 billion into U.S. ETFs in March and over $54 billion in the entire first quarter, as DXJ, WisdomTree's currency-hedged Japan ETF, was the most popular ETF so far in 2013—a year in which inflows are on pace to easily top last year's record of $188 billion.

Globally, the ETF market raked in a record $70.1 billion in fresh assets in the first quarter, with equities accounting for 93 percent of global flows, according to BlackRock data.

The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) hauled in $1.1 billion in March and about $4 billion in the first quarter, as total U.S.-listed ETF assets under management rose to almost $1.467 trillion—just shy of an all-time record, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.

Total assets at the end of the quarter were 3 percent higher than at the end of February, nearly 9 percent above year-end 2012 levels and more than 21 percent over the $1.21 trillion in total AUM a year ago.

The quarterly asset haul of $54.73 billion looks, at first blush, to be the third-biggest quarter of inflows in the 20-year history of ETFs. Last year's third quarter was the all-time high, with creations of almost $60 billion, while the nearly $56 billion in 2012's first quarter appears to be No. 2 in the pantheon of top flows.

WisdomTree's DXJ is easily the top ETF story so far in 2013, as increasing numbers of U.S. investors flock to the fund as a way to take advantage of Japan's rising stock market while steering clear of the declining yen. Japanese equities have received a shot in the arm from pledges by Japan's new leadership to weaken the yen to help spur growth there.

The renewed excitement about Japanese stocks spread to the ETF market's biggest equities fund, the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWJ). It pulled in $830.6 million in March and $1.45 billion in the entire first quarter.

The flows into DXJ helped propel New York-based WisdomTree to the No. 6 spot of the U.S. ETF industry league table, with total assets of $25.1 billion. It surpassed Bethesda, Md.-based ProShares, which ended in the No. 7 spot, with just over $23.58 billion in assets.

The top ETF in inflows for the month of March was the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV), which pulled in $2.27 billion. It ended the month and quarter with assets of $41.03 billion.

March 2013 Top Gainers ($, Millions)

Ticker Name Issuer Flows AUM ($, M) Turnover
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 BlackRock 2,266.16 41,031.36 13,580.22
BSV Vanguard Short-Term Bond Vanguard 1,503.31 11,531.18 2,495.94
IWM iShares Russell 2000 BlackRock 1,335.14 21,399.91 60,345.36
IWF iShares Russell 1000 Growth BlackRock 1,121.42 19,407.53 3,951.34
DXJ WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity WisdomTree 1,104.24 5,632.64 2,609.03
SSO ProShares Ultra S&P 500 ProShares 968.51 2,436.23 9,901.78
EWJ iShares MSCI Japan BlackRock 830.64 7,275.60 6,054.52
USMV iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility BlackRock 796.63 2,606.01 732.92
VNQ Vanguard REIT Vanguard 678.44 18,216.72 3,548.18
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA 670.49 129,835.33 360,998.47

2013 First-Quarter Most Popular Funds

AUM ($, M)
Name Issuer Flows Turnover
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity WisdomTree 3,946.88 5,632.64 7,649.53
iShares Core S&P 500 BlackRock 2,358.67 41,031.36 37,185.60
Vanguard Short-Term Bond Vanguard 2,230.97 11,531.18 5,723.09
Vanguard Total Stock Market Vanguard 2,154.40 29,037.49 10,479.93
iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility BlackRock 1,680.53 2,606.01 1,318.12
Vanguard REIT Vanguard 1,677.29 18,216.72 11,051.58
Vanguard S&P 500 Vanguard 1,528.79 8,855.10 7,471.62
PowerShares Senior Loan Invesco PowerShares 1,500.85 3,014.33 3,564.24
iShares MSCI Japan BlackRock 1,453.27 7,275.60 20,774.34
Financial Select SPDR SSgA 1,380.13 11,677.49 54,386.49

March 2013 Assets By Class

March 2013 Assets By Class Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 14,655.42 703,682.93 2.08%
International Equity - 1,702.71 353,550.63 -0.48%
U.S. Fixed Income 5,250.21 233,381.44 2.25%
International Fixed Income - 29.96 27,031.22 -0.11%
Commodities - 2,246.51 107,424.60 -2.09%
Currency - 36.86 2,732.98 -1.35%
Leveraged 251.12 14,151.49 1.77%
Inverse 1,067.68 18,450.79 5.79%
Asset Allocation 190.33 3,092.44 6.15%
Alternatives 376.89 3,279.35 11.49%
Total: 17,775.61 1,466,777.85 1.21%

2013 First-Quarter Flows By Assets

Q1 2013 Flows By Assets Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 30,334.36 685,587.38 4.42%
International Equity 18,781.74 353,550.63 5.31%
U.S. Fixed Income 6,798.58 233,381.44 2.91%
International Fixed Income 1,711.27 27,031.22 6.33%
Commodities - 6,666.43 107,424.60 -6.21%
Currency 87.26 2,732.98 3.19%
Leveraged - 865.10 14,151.49 -6.11%
Inverse 3,111.74 18,450.79 16.87%
Asset Allocation 571.61 3,092.44 18.48%
Alternatives 861.51 3,279.35 26.27%
Total: 54,726.53 1,466,777.85 3.78%

 

 

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