With markets rallying to record-highs, it comes as a bit of a curveball that the eighth-place gainer is iShares' MSCI USA Minimum Volatility fund (NYSEArca: USMV). The fund has scooped up $2.51 billion year to date, making for a staggering 70 percent AUM increase.
BlackRock's iShares funds account for four of the 10 biggest gainers, and the issuer itself has barreled forward with asset accumulation, shattering and surpassing the $600 billion mark earlier this year.
In USMV, iShares created a tool to manage the volatile U.S. equity markets. It's not in spite of, but rather because of, the market's awesome performance that funds like USMV have garnered investor interest. After all, what goes up must come down, and when markets rebound, an investment in USMV will prove wise.
A Few Surprises
The Vanguard Short-Term Bond fund (NYSEArca: BSV) grew 23.5 percent, adding $2.86 billion and reaping the benefits of the Fed's downward pressure on interest rates. BSV holds one- to five-year Treasury debt, and as interest rates reach dirt-cheap lows, bonds less distant along the yield curve become exponentially more attractive than longer-term, less stable debt.
Vanguard's REIT ETF (NYSEArca: VNQ) scooped up $2.54 billion, and the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation fund (NYSEArca: VIG) added $1.94 billion.