Year-to-date, U.S.-listed ETFs have attracted some $41 billion in net creations. That compares with inflows of about $72 billion in the same four-month period in 2015.
A look at the top asset gainers last month shows that there was strong demand for safer-type assets, even in the equity space. The iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV | A-69) was one of the month’s most in-demand strategies in April, raking in $1.26 billion.
So far this year, the fund has gathered some $4.7 billion in inflows as it continues to outperform the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-97). USMV has delivered gains of 6.1% since the beginning of the year, or about 3.5 percentage points more than SPY.
As a segment, U.S. fixed-income ETFs raked in $4.1 billion in the last month, with strategies such as the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD | A-77) as well as aggregate bond funds all making the top-10 list.
U.S. equity funds were, again, a popular choice last month, attracting some $10.6 billion in net creations, but the largest creations were seen in traditional broad large-cap strategies, and the Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VNQ | A-91).
“Investors were more risk averse in April, favoring investment-grade bonds ETFs and lower-volatility strategies,” S&P Capital IQ’s Todd Rosenbluth said.
When it comes to safe assets, what was not among the month’s top gainers was the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD | A -100)—a fund that remains 2016’s leading asset gatherer, with inflows exceeding $6.15 billion year-to-date. Still, in April, GLD was actually among the biggest losers, with net redemptions of $645 million.
Japan, Eurozone Out
What was out of favor was exposure to Japan and Europe-based ETFs “amid macro concerns,” Rosenbluth noted. Funds like the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ | B-94), the iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (EZU | B-84) and the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ | B-47) were found among the month’s biggest redemptions.
HEDJ has now bled nearly $3.1 billion in net outflows year-to-date, helping bump WisdomTree down to the sixth spot among top issuers. Charles Schwab now ranks at No. 5.
Contact Cinthia Murphy at [email protected].
Top Gainers April 2016
|Ticker||Fund||Issuer||Net Flows ($M)||AUM ($M)||% of AUM||YTD Net Flows ($M)|
|SPY||SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust||SSgA||1,659.40||185,348.86||0.90%||-1,270.74|
|LQD||iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF||BlackRock||1,356.20||28,682.05||4.73%||3,297.23|
|USMV||iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF||BlackRock||1,265.21||12,378.49||10.22%||4,702.75|
|VNQ||Vanguard REIT Index Fund||Vanguard||950.86||30,203.66||3.15%||2,058.63|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund||Vanguard||918.23||44,416.25||2.07%||3,535.31|
|AGG||iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF||BlackRock||884.81||35,761.00||2.47%||4,294.80|
|TIP||iShares TIPS Bond ETF||BlackRock||882.23||17,445.99||5.06%||2,551.10|
|XLV||Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund||SSgA||879.38||12,760.34||6.89%||-633.18|
|BND||Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund||Vanguard||834.33||30,090.98||2.77%||2,025.42|
|EEM||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF||BlackRock||793.70||25,905.44||3.06%||3,212.84|
Biggest Losers April 2016
|Ticker||Fund||Issuer||Net Flows ($M)||April 2016 AUM ($M)||% of AUM||YTD Net Flows ($M)|
|EWJ||iShares MSCI Japan ETF||BlackRock||-1,388.27||16,563.54||-8.38%||-2,726.44|
|QQQ||PowerShares QQQ Trust||Invesco PowerShares||-1,151.57||36,250.80||-3.18%||-4,068.49|
|SHY||iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF||BlackRock||-1,147.07||10,310.93||-11.12%||-1,097.88|
|TLT||iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF||BlackRock||-937.02||8,905.28||-10.52%||2,289.68|
|EZU||iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF||BlackRock||-848.17||12,127.68||-6.99%||-2,167.30|
|XLP||Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund||SSgA||-783.81||9,352.51||-8.38%||807.88|
|HEDJ||WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund||WisdomTree||-728.13||13,163.31||-5.53%||-3,098.41|
|IYR||iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF||BlackRock||-698.40||4,071.30||-17.15%||-349.58|
|IEI||iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF||BlackRock||-667.03||5,541.09||-12.04%||407.08|
|GLD||SPDR Gold Trust||SSgA||-645.68||33,447.33||-1.93%||6,158.82|
Asset Classes April 2016
|Net Flows ($M)||AUM ($M)||% of AUM|
|U.S. Fixed Income||4,100.20||371,244.44||1.10%|
|International Fixed Income||1,160.85||33,606.10||3.45%|