Here at ETF.com, we talk a lot about flows. Each day, each week and each month, we put together lists of the ETFs that garner the largest inflows and the largest outflows of assets—an indication of where investors are putting their money to work.
Most of the time, the same batch of ETFs finds itself on these lists. These funds are usually super liquid, extraordinarily cheap and have billions of dollars in assets. For example, in 2019, the $142 billion Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the $38 billion iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol U.S.A. ETF (USMV) saw the largest inflows, totaling $15.4 billion and $12.5 billion, respectively.
No matter how you slice it, those are sizable inflows. That said, VTI and USMV aren’t necessarily the ETFs growing the fastest.
On an absolute basis they are, but not on a percentage basis. Year-to-date inflows for the two ETFs represent an increase of 16.4% and 66.8%, respectively, over their total assets at the start of the year. Those are huge, impressive gains for such large ETFs, but nowhere close to the top of the heap.
On a percentage basis, there are loads of ETFs that have grown much faster in 2019—ETFs that almost never make our flows lists because they are starting from a much smaller asset base. In this article, we’ll take a look at these fast-growing funds, which, in many cases, are flying under the radar of the ETF investing public at large.
Admittedly, it’s much easier for a small fund to register a big percentage increase in its assets. A fund with only $1 million in assets under management (AUM) simply has to grow to $2 million for its assets to double. Is that noteworthy? Not really.
How about a $1 million fund growing to $50 million? Now that could be noteworthy for some; others might not pay attention until a fund grows even larger, into the hundred-million or even the billion-dollar range.
That’s why we’ve put together two lists: one that showcases the fastest-growing ETFs of the year no matter their starting level of assets, and another that includes ETFs that had $50 million or more in assets at the start of 2019.
Fastest Growing ETFs of 2019 (Starting AUM >$0)
Data measures the year-to-date period through Dec. 31, 2019