Exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets neared the $350 billion mark in August, according to the latest data from the Investment Company Institute (ICI), topping out at $348.05 billion for the month. That's an increase of more than $11 billion from July, or 3.3 percent. The asset growth was driven partially by new issuance ($3.7 billion), but more importantly, by rising markets.
Over the past 12 months, U.S. ETF assets are up $96.56 billion, or 38 percent. That growth has been evenly split between domestic and international ETFs, with domestic funds adding $50.03 billion in the past year, compared to $41.29 billion for international funds.
In all cases, the ICI reports understate the true growth in the ETF industry, as they exclude some commodity-based funds - one of the hottest segments of the market - as well as the Merrill Lynch HOLDRs.