2021 Inflows Near $400B After Strong May

2021 Inflows Near $400B After Strong May

Investors added almost $67 billion to U.S.-listed ETFs during the month.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy
With another month in the books, ETF inflows continued at their record pace. Investors added $66.5 billion to their U.S.-listed ETF holdings during the month of May, bringing year-to-date inflows up to $394.8 billion—well ahead of the $121.1 billion seen at this same time a year ago.

Barring a major setback, 2021’s inflows are poised to easily topple last year’s full-year record of $507.4 billion. In fact, if the current pace continues, this year’s inflows could challenge the once-unthinkable $1 trillion level. But that’s a big “if.” There’s a full seven months to go in the year, and the pace of inflows can change rapidly depending on the economic and market environment.

Inflows Evenly Split

Taking a closer look at the data from May, the inflows were fairly evenly split across the various segments. U.S. equity ETFs took in $24.2 billion; international equity ETF pulled in $17.4 billion and U.S. fixed income ETFs gathered $14 billion of fresh cash.

On a year-to-date basis, U.S. equity ETFs are leading, with $181.5 billion of inflows, followed by international equity ETFs with $118.2 billion and U.S. fixed income ETFs with $69.4 billion.

Both U.S. and international stocks held strong in May. The S&P 500 hovered near its all-time high of 4,200, while the MSCI EAFE Index climbed to its best level since 2007.

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) were the top asset gatherers of the month, each with inflows of more than $2.6 billion.

The Vanguard Value ETF (VTV) also saw interest, as value stocks held on to their strong outperformance versus growth stocks for the year. VTV is up 18.5% this year compared to 7% for the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG).

Investors Shun Low-Vol ETF

On the outflows side of the ledger, notable ETFs with redemptions in May included the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR), the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), the iShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETF (USMV) and the iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF (IHI).

USMV is also among the least popular funds of the year, with $7.4 billion of outflows for 2021 as a whole. It’s joined by the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which have year-to-date outflows of $11.9 billion and $7.1 billion, respectively.

For a full list of the top inflows and outflows for May and the year as a whole, see the tables below:


Top Gainers (May 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard3,778.32225,507.491.68%24,153.18
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard2,657.85243,452.071.09%16,662.99
IEFAiShares Core MSCI EAFE ETFBlackrock2,631.6396,646.232.72%3,832.93
VTVVanguard Value ETFVanguard2,116.6181,876.352.59%8,944.21
BBEUJPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETFJPMorgan Chase1,982.228,497.5123.33%4,468.08
BSVVanguard Short-Term Bond ETFVanguard1,703.5534,124.124.99%4,716.69
RSPInvesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETFInvesco1,569.2228,617.595.48%6,637.13
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors1,567.1763,421.662.47%-7,070.24
XLVHealth Care Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors1,545.7427,564.635.61%-185.08
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors1,534.2844,677.903.43%11,169.56


Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMMay 2021 Net Flows($,M)
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard24,153.18225,507.4910.71%3,778.32
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard16,662.99243,452.076.84%2,657.85
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors11,169.5644,677.9025.00%1,534.28
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETFBlackrock10,915.92279,437.513.91%-797.51
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market ETFVanguard9,240.5975,115.4512.30%1,072.24
VTVVanguard Value ETFVanguard8,944.2181,876.3510.92%2,116.61
IEMGiShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETFBlackrock8,257.2081,714.2810.10%707.49
IUSBiShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETFBlackrock8,120.0213,906.2358.39%1,188.03
ARKKARK Innovation ETFARK6,987.7521,354.6132.72%-135.89
RSPInvesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETFInvesco6,637.1328,617.5923.19%1,569.22


Biggest Losers (May 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustState Street Global Advisors-4,387.60361,618.96-1.21%-6,591.72
IYRiShares U.S. Real Estate ETFBlackrock-1,796.584,763.25-37.72%-1,379.08
SDYSPDR S&P Dividend ETFState Street Global Advisors-1,333.5419,883.66-6.71%-233.79
USMViShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-1,154.1427,763.32-4.16%-7,438.53
IHIiShares U.S. Medical Devices ETFBlackrock-892.337,788.18-11.46%-1,852.30
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETFBlackrock-797.51279,437.51-0.29%10,915.92
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-721.0013,096.22-5.51%-1,074.02
IXNiShares Global Tech ETFBlackrock-669.274,653.94-14.38%-663.45
IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETFBlackrock-647.4365,480.43-0.99%-2,693.90
ARKWARK Next Generation Internet ETFARK-576.255,590.25-10.31%1,073.77


Biggest Losers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMMay 2021 Net Flows($,M)
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-11,861.4041,009.66-28.92%-372.89
USMViShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-7,438.5327,763.32-26.79%-1,154.14
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors-7,070.2463,421.66-11.15%1,567.17
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustState Street Global Advisors-6,591.72361,618.96-1.82%-4,387.60
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-4,403.9712,434.46-35.42%163.63
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-3,723.4822,070.69-16.87%540.47
QUALiShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETFBlackrock-3,207.4420,467.27-15.67%-290.24
SHViShares Short Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-2,957.3914,872.76-19.88%-67.41
IWFiShares Russell 1000 Growth ETFBlackrock-2,693.9065,480.43-4.11%-647.43
XLPConsumer Staples Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors-2,476.7511,258.53-22.00%809.77


Asset Classes (May 2021)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity24,194.383,680,181.360.66%
International Equity17,438.661,266,776.231.38%
U.S. Fixed Income14,035.201,021,722.591.37%
International Fixed Income3,467.13138,735.582.50%
Asset Allocation-53.8615,772.82-0.34%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity181,539.533,680,181.364.93%
International Equity118,228.211,266,776.239.33%
U.S. Fixed Income69,368.771,021,722.596.79%
International Fixed Income17,726.41138,735.5812.78%
Asset Allocation1,508.9815,772.829.57%


May 2021 ETF Issuer League Table

IssuerNet Flows ($,M)AUM ($,M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
State Street Global Advisors5,937.76970,110.780.61%33,715.26
Charles Schwab3,589.08240,339.551.49%19,360.92
First Trust2,147.58124,994.231.72%11,001.88
Vanguard Group, Inc.1,042.78101,999.571.02%5,150.71
JPMorgan Chase2,855.7363,964.394.46%15,138.04
Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd.1,251.7532,859.623.81%10,739.98
Goldman Sachs-281.1322,966.55-1.22%-815.04
Deutsche Bank103.3621,862.280.47%341.02
Northern Trust489.2218,263.402.68%2,154.46
Franklin Templeton188.339,422.732.00%392.20
Aberdeen Standard Investments207.027,268.912.85%508.02
Pacer Advisors356.317,193.674.95%800.64
American Century Investments641.726,776.809.47%2,259.68
Exchange Traded Concepts73.426,730.341.09%1,040.45
Victory Capital42.946,431.620.67%109.30
Grace Partners of Dupage LP29.275,118.260.57%548.64
John Hancock-2.324,934.16-0.05%-716.44
US Commodity Funds-87.684,565.28-1.92%-1,729.17
New York Life80.594,416.851.82%362.12
Amplify Investments-214.694,388.90-4.89%1,101.88
Janus Henderson-6.414,157.56-0.15%227.53
US Global Investors-8.184,123.13-0.20%465.57
The Hartford60.124,019.461.50%91.69
Nuveen Securities30.403,814.840.80%863.30
Barclays Capital Inc.-29.263,107.14-0.94%1,227.56
Toroso Investments261.582,257.8911.59%667.35
Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC26.011,557.061.67%288.30
O’Shares Investments-34.631,520.53-2.28%10.55
Dimensional Holdings185.271,471.7012.59%988.98
Defiance ETFs-1.221,425.90-0.09%341.55
Davis Advisers17.801,334.961.33%91.19
Aptus Capital Advisors24.721,215.952.03%186.15
Virtus Investment Partners-5.391,160.18-0.46%177.28
EMPIRICAL FINANCE LLC27.75947.072.93%228.77
Main Management8.71941.690.92%191.12
Credit Suisse Group AG-35.68912.21-3.91%149.67
BNY Mellon32.06809.273.96%258.24
Transamerica Funds0.00796.420.00%-29.97
The Motley Fool0.04625.970.01%57.19
Strategy Shares106.76613.9717.39%388.33
Roundhill Investments-48.51605.58-8.01%273.87
Renaissance Capital-85.50583.98-14.64%-129.14
Horizon Kinetics LLC183.84536.9934.23%509.87
Timothy Plan6.10462.821.32%17.26
Sprott, Inc.0.39420.990.09%18.15
SRN Advisors-0.53395.27-0.13%77.30
Liquid Strategies32.92375.648.76%67.90
Simplify Asset Management Inc.82.91367.6622.55%231.67
Howard Capital Management13.95365.333.82%45.34
Distillate Capital12.43364.083.41%105.36
Al Marketing LLC-12.85359.94-3.57%-32.83
Redwood Investment Management15.71349.584.50%-106.90
Regents Park Funds1.88327.870.57%57.23
Swedish Export Credit27.60295.139.35%14.33
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.21.30283.177.52%112.41
ClearShares LLC-34.75278.97-12.46%29.58
Tuttle Tactical Management, LLC-17.08241.24-7.08%88.15
OBP Capital LLC0.00232.860.00%116.87
Donald L. Hagan LLC4.85228.152.13%69.49
Intangible Capital2.48189.011.31%2.49
Core Alternative Capital10.59184.325.74%34.63
Cboe Vest Financial LLC27.22180.6915.06%78.84
EntrepreneurShares, LLC-4.56172.31-2.65%-2.61
Little Harbor Advisors7.67154.734.96%89.89
State Street Global Advisors Limited-9.08152.38-5.96%114.13
TrueMark Investments9.08132.076.88%57.54
Syntax Advisors1.63120.121.36%21.41
Arrow Funds0.00113.330.00%0.56
Wahed Invest LLC7.26109.416.63%35.51
CornerCap Investment Counsel, Inc.-0.39102.55-0.38%27.08
Kingsview Partners LLC9.8696.6310.20%90.09
Wainwright, Inc.9.9490.6710.96%80.23
Exponential ETFs0.0077.490.00%-0.08
Advisors Asset Management12.7274.4917.08%23.63
iM Square SAS15.1871.9821.10%11.93
Pettee Investors1.0371.841.44%18.79
Humankind USA LLC4.0871.275.72%63.86
Change Finance4.6666.746.98%28.51
Metaurus Advisors0.0161.700.01%3.45
Impact Shares1.5859.032.68%19.19
Pacific Life0.0057.210.00%-0.11
Beyond Investing5.6354.9010.25%14.62
Absolute Investment Advisers LLC0.0049.350.00%7.09
Swan Global Investments13.4449.2427.30%46.16
Infusive Asset Management1.7245.273.81%6.76
Gotham Asset Management Holdings0.0044.840.00%42.35
Highland Capital Management0.0043.640.01%-9.77
Emles Advisors LLC0.7443.131.72%-25.91
Toews Corp.-2.5142.65-5.89%-6.39
Premise Capital0.0039.920.00%-13.27
Neil Azous Revocable Trust2.9239.087.47%17.64
Cabot ETF Partners LLC-0.2535.34-0.71%33.96
Alger Group Holdings LLC13.7134.8839.31%29.65
Red Gate Advisers LLC0.0033.290.00%5.01
ETF Series Solutions1.3631.384.33%3.84
Inverdale Capital Management LLC5.2727.6419.06%21.68
Guinness Atkinson Asset Management0.3026.921.11%13.63
AlphaMark Advisors0.0026.520.00%-1.41
MCCM Group LLC-2.2924.63-9.28%34.10
Whitford Asset Management13.8723.9457.96%20.07
2nd Vote Value Investments, Inc3.8123.2316.41%16.73
WisdomTree Investments, Inc.3.0522.2913.69%21.10
Rayliant Investment Research3.4518.1319.04%14.93
Formidable Asset Management16.2117.6891.67%16.83
Changebridge Capital LLC0.2916.781.70%9.78
The Leuthold Group LLC0.7515.144.96%1.43
GAMCO Investors, Inc.0.8113.525.98%7.27
Point Bridge Capital0.9111.977.64%0.08
Counterpoint Mutual Funds LLC0.0011.420.00%-1.20
Mairs & Power, Inc.1.2611.0811.34%11.01
Ridgeline Research LLC2.3110.2922.49%6.77
Alternative Access Funds LLC0.0010.020.00%0.00
New Age Alpha Advisors LLC2.178.7924.65%6.93
Water Island Capital Partners LP0.006.510.01%0.00
Global Beta Advisors0.005.130.00%-2.99
Uncommon Investment Advisors LLC3.264.3275.58%3.76
Applied Finance Group2.493.7466.42%2.49
Reflection Asset Management, LLC0.003.31-0.01%0.59
ASYMmetric ETFs0.802.3933.44%2.30
Wilshire Phoenix Funds LLC0.001.890.00%0.00
Democracy Investment Management LLC0.001.320.02%0.64
Eaton Vance Corp.
Tuttle Capital Management LLC0.000.000.00%0.00


Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.