SPY, VOO: Which ETFs Ruled Inflows in 2023?

The ETF market crossed $8 trillion in assets during a year in which both bond and stock markets surged.

Wealth Management Editor
Reviewed by: Ron Day
Edited by: Kent Thune
Top 5 Inflows - Cover
Top Inflows - VTI
Top Inflows - TLT
Top Inflows - IVV
Top Inflows - VOO
Top Inflows - SPY


As the ETF market crested the $8 trillion level in a year that was good for both stocks and bonds, the direction of asset flows shows big appeal for cheap indexes.


In a year that marked the 30th anniversary of U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds, some ETFs set all-time records for inflows.


Following are the five ETFs that took in the most money in 2023 in descending order.


Source: Bloomberg Intelligence 

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

The Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), which seeks to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index, had inflows of $21.6 billion in 2023, and a total return 26% for the year.


VTI is a cap-weighted index fund providing investors exposure to the entire U.S. stock market in a single security. Being cap-weighted, the fund is heavily tilted toward large-cap stocks, with less exposure to midcap and small-cap stocks.


VTI ended 2023 with $357.7 billion in assets and its expense ratio is 0.03%.

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF

The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT), which is the largest long-term bond ETF on the market, saw inflows of $24.7 billion in 2023. 


These inflows are remarkable as the price for TLT was mostly falling during the first 10 months of the year.


The total 2023 return for TLT was 2.8%, but that small gain is impressive, as it represents a dramatic recovery from a 20% decline through October 19, when it finally recorded its bear market low, and a rise of more than 20% to end the year.


Assets for TLT ended 2023 at $51.6 billion and the fund's expense ratio is 0.15%.

iShares Core S&P 500 ETF

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), which passively tracks the performance of the S&P 500 index, saw inflows of $38 billion in 2023, as investors enjoyed a 26.3% gain for the year.


As a market-cap-weighted index, the S&P 500 benefited from significant exposure to the mega-cap tech stocks that dominated 2023.


Assets for IVV ended the year at $399.8 billion and its expense ratio is among the cheapest on the market at 0.03%.

Vanguard 500 Index Fund

The Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VOO) extends the trend of ETFs tracking the S&P 500 index that saw massive inflows in 2023. For VOO, money coming in amounted to $42.5 billion during the year as the fund returned 26.3%.


VOO enjoys a large and loyal following of die-hard Vanguard investors and continues the investment company's history of offering passively managed index funds with dirt cheap expenses.


VOO's assets under management ended 2023 at $372 billion and its expense ratio is among the lowest in the industry at 0.03%

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) got to celebrate its 30th year since inception in a big way, as it remained the largest ETF on the market with gigantic inflows of $49.4 billion in 2023.


On Dec. 15, SPY raked in $20.8 billion, marking the biggest inflow since the fund’s inception in 1993, and the largest single-day inflow of any ETF in history.


Adding to that distinction, SPY's assets of $493 billion are approaching the half-trillion mark, which is an amazing testament to the growth of the entire ETF industry.


SPY had a total return of 26.2% in 2023 and its expense ratio is 0.09%.

Jeff Benjamin is the wealth management editor at etf.com, responsible for coverage related to the financial planning industry. This includes writing, hosting podcasts, webinars, video interviews and presenting at in-person events.

Jeff is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years’ experience covering the financial markets. He has won more than two dozen national and regional awards for his reporting. He most recently worked as a senior columnist at InvestmentNews where he wrote about investment products and strategies, as well as the broader financial planning industry. Prior to that, Jeff worked as an analyst at Cerulli Associates where he researched and wrote reports on the alternative investments industry. Jeff also worked as a money management reporter at Dow Jones Newswires, where he covered the mutual fund industry.

Based in North Carolina, Jeff is a former Marine and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.