ETF Demand Relentless, $74B In April

ETF Demand Relentless, $74B In April

U.S.-listed ETFs have taken in $320 billion in new assets so far this year after April's deluge of inflows.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

ETFs continued to swallow up assets in April as investors added $74.2 billion to the space. An unrelenting rally in U.S. stocks helped the mood during the month: The S&P 500 breached 4,200 for the first time, bringing its year-to-date gains up to 11.7%.

With four months in the books, U.S.-listed ETFs have pulled in a net $320.3 billion in fresh cash, well ahead of last year’s $121.1 billion pace.

While certainly large and impressive, nothing about April’s inflows was particularly surprising. U.S. equity ETFs picked up the lion’s share of new assets—$31.8 billion—followed by U.S. fixed income ETFs at $22.3 billion and international equity ETFs at $17.4 billion.

On a year-to-date basis, the ordering is slightly different: U.S. equity ETFs are in the lead with $152.2 billion of inflows, followed by international equity ETFs at $100 billion and U.S. fixed income ETFs at $53.7 billion.

Shortening Duration

April’s top inflows list was chock-full of the usual low cost, broad market ETFs. The Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) and the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index ETF (VGSH) each picked up more than $2.4 billion of new assets during the month.

VGSH exemplified the move into short-dated fixed income securities during April. As a short-term Treasury ETF, VGSH doesn’t have as much interest rate risk as some other fixed income ETFs, a characteristic that investors might find appealing in an environment where rates have been climbing upward.

With asset prices elevated across the board, something like VGSH could also act as a place to park cash for investors interested in lightening up on risk.

‘TLT’ Struggles

The inflows into VGSH contrast with the $2.1 billion pulled from the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT). The fund has struggled this year, losing 12% of its value as rates have jumped. In its April FOMC meeting, the Fed remained committed to keeping its benchmark rate near zero and its asset purchases at their current levels.

But many investors believe the central bank will start to pare back its stimulus measures if the economy keeps booming. TLT is among the most interest-rate-sensitive bond ETFs, making it particularly vulnerable to a rate spike.

Joining TLT on the top outflows list for April were the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), the ProShares UltraPro QQQ (TQQQ) and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD).

For a full list of the top inflows and outflows for April and 2021 as a whole, see the tables below:


Top Gainers (April 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard4,176.79240,609.771.74%13,920.91
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard3,219.85220,344.191.46%20,291.96
VGSHVanguard Short-Term Treasury Index ETFVanguard2,401.2512,554.0919.13%2,736.67
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market ETFVanguard2,363.8673,844.353.20%8,032.17
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETFBlackrock2,217.00277,912.320.80%10,975.70
VTVVanguard Value ETFVanguard2,161.7177,272.502.80%6,803.47
AGGiShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETFBlackrock2,068.0986,948.472.38%4,458.64
SCHDSchwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETFCharles Schwab1,788.7023,465.617.62%4,411.23
GOVTiShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock1,759.3816,198.5610.86%2,175.61
BBEUJPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETFJPMorgan Chase1,655.066,313.2626.22%2,485.87


Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMApril 2021 Net Flows($,M)
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard20,291.96220,344.199.21%3,219.85
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard13,920.91240,609.775.79%4,176.79
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETFBlackrock10,975.70277,912.323.95%2,217.00
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors9,381.0440,563.0423.13%274.49
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market ETFVanguard8,032.1773,844.3510.88%2,363.86
IEMGiShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETFBlackrock7,549.7181,272.059.29%115.55
ARKKARK Innovation ETFARK7,513.6024,427.3430.76%1,029.67
IUSBiShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETFBlackrock6,889.6112,654.3954.44%492.00
VTVVanguard Value ETFVanguard6,803.4777,272.508.80%2,161.71
XLEEnergy Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors5,198.1923,548.2922.07%643.81


Biggest Losers (April 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustState Street Global Advisors-2,601.40360,922.32-0.72%-5,395.78
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETFBlackrock-2,531.2168,839.81-3.68%385.59
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-2,099.8912,487.27-16.82%-4,360.12
TQQQProShares UltraPro QQQProShares-1,489.0011,777.55-12.64%127.94
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors-1,120.6957,930.86-1.93%-8,637.41
SHViShares Short Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-952.6114,964.55-6.37%-2,866.77
XLPConsumer Staples Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors-823.0710,197.15-8.07%-3,255.24
USMViShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-688.0328,675.20-2.40%-6,269.97
MBBiShares MBS ETFBlackrock-661.1425,788.17-2.56%832.49
EWYiShares MSCI South Korea ETFBlackrock-625.577,293.01-8.58%-546.42


Biggest Losers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMApril 2021 Net Flows($,M)
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-11,030.5141,647.98-26.49%-592.98
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors-8,637.4157,930.86-14.91%-1,120.69
USMViShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-6,269.9728,675.20-21.87%-688.03
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustState Street Global Advisors-5,395.78360,922.32-1.49%-2,601.40
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-4,360.1212,487.27-34.92%-2,099.89
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-4,185.3521,649.41-19.33%435.88
XLPConsumer Staples Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors-3,255.2410,197.15-31.92%-823.07
QUALiShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETFBlackrock-2,872.2020,568.67-13.96%17.46
SHViShares Short Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-2,866.7714,964.55-19.16%-952.61
JNKSPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETFState Street Global Advisors-2,115.4510,427.10-20.29%-1.71


Asset Classes (April 2021)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity31,819.443,640,649.310.87%
International Equity17,381.231,240,730.211.40%
U.S. Fixed Income22,347.681,004,146.782.23%
International Fixed Income4,285.64134,655.283.18%
Asset Allocation590.7315,624.583.78%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity152,159.373,640,649.314.18%
International Equity100,042.181,240,730.218.06%
U.S. Fixed Income53,663.031,004,146.785.34%
International Fixed Income13,952.75134,655.2810.36%
Asset Allocation1,592.8015,624.5810.19%


April 2021 ETF Issuer League Table

IssuerNet Flows ($,M)AUM ($,M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
State Street Global Advisors5,562.84949,398.000.59%23,979.75
Charles Schwab4,988.53234,892.652.12%15,707.24
First Trust2,373.78123,073.831.93%8,684.38
Vanguard Group, Inc.1,197.1798,564.871.21%3,708.83
JPMorgan Chase2,881.6860,229.394.78%12,167.21
Van Eck Associates Corp.1,351.9458,432.222.31%3,867.60
Mirae Asset1,738.8431,647.595.49%9,382.29
Goldman Sachs-186.0723,143.81-0.80%-533.91
Deutsche Bank202.1721,461.840.94%197.59
Northern Trust422.1117,508.872.41%1,654.60
Franklin Templeton166.729,180.691.82%200.64
Exchange Traded Concepts85.356,841.991.25%963.98
Aberdeen Standard Investments31.636,835.350.46%295.97
Pacer Advisors176.616,703.532.63%364.93
Victory Capital-184.276,319.42-2.92%76.53
American Century Investments514.916,037.718.53%1,602.77
Grace Partners of Dupage LP47.515,080.390.94%519.37
John Hancock49.964,938.671.01%-714.12
Amplify Investments126.414,873.812.59%1,317.51
US Commodity Funds-165.064,476.75-3.69%-1,635.77
New York Life-272.824,319.75-6.32%278.17
Janus Henderson10.574,172.480.25%233.94
US Global Investors-36.193,986.92-0.91%473.75
The Hartford-22.903,907.08-0.59%31.56
Nuveen Securities148.723,795.013.92%829.15
Barclays Capital Inc.401.353,258.8112.32%1,302.25
Toroso Investments-20.201,979.21-1.02%406.27
O’Shares Investments-0.121,595.42-0.01%45.18
Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC52.511,521.983.45%256.96
Defiance ETFs69.551,431.964.86%344.72
Davis Advisers13.361,332.991.00%71.60
Dimensional Holdings174.761,265.3713.81%794.78
Aptus Capital Advisors45.651,188.023.84%160.60
Virtus Investment Partners83.551,148.787.27%180.24
Credit Suisse Group AG41.94949.424.42%183.52
EMPIRICAL FINANCE LLC15.50939.211.65%208.59
Main Management27.38929.282.95%182.42
Transamerica Funds0.00792.550.00%-29.97
BNY Mellon41.70778.025.36%226.18
Renaissance Capital-41.67698.15-5.97%-53.07
Roundhill Investments-20.08671.98-2.99%322.38
The Motley Fool0.95645.880.15%57.14
Strategy Shares102.49503.7220.35%279.04
Timothy Plan7.66451.981.69%11.16
SRN Advisors14.89403.833.69%77.84
Sprott, Inc.-2.99382.95-0.78%17.77
Al Marketing LLC-2.40370.83-0.65%-19.98
Howard Capital Management12.10355.343.40%31.39
Distillate Capital10.98346.123.17%92.93
Liquid Strategies13.17341.133.86%35.71
Horizon Kinetics LLC184.05331.6355.50%311.47
Regents Park Funds24.89325.737.64%55.35
Redwood Investment Management-34.11325.36-10.48%-125.44
ClearShares LLC34.68312.7611.09%34.65
Swedish Export Credit21.86287.817.59%9.06
Simplify Asset Management Inc.7.52275.132.73%143.46
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.24.54263.449.32%91.11
Tuttle Tactical Management, LLC-15.73259.66-6.06%105.23
OBP Capital LLC1.31244.000.54%116.87
Donald L. Hagan LLC38.10221.6117.19%64.64
EntrepreneurShares, LLC-1.27188.45-0.67%1.96
Intangible Capital0.00185.520.00%-0.02
Core Alternative Capital7.25169.244.28%24.04
Little Harbor Advisors14.38149.039.65%82.22
Cboe Vest Financial LLC34.09146.5823.25%48.95
TrueMark Investments9.48122.997.70%47.76
Syntax Advisors0.00116.800.00%19.79
Arrow Funds0.00112.500.00%0.56
Wahed Invest LLC8.20102.857.98%28.25
CornerCap Investment Counsel, Inc.-0.01100.58-0.01%27.47
Exponential ETFs-0.2996.84-0.30%1.20
Kingsview Partners LLC5.7485.946.68%80.23
Wainwright, Inc.54.1675.4471.79%70.30
Pettee Investors7.8470.3111.15%17.76
Humankind USA LLC9.3166.7513.95%59.78
Change Finance6.2362.609.95%23.85
Metaurus Advisors0.9861.871.58%3.45
Advisors Asset Management0.2159.140.35%9.52
Pacific Life-0.1157.15-0.19%-0.11
Impact Shares10.3056.4618.24%16.81
iM Square SAS3.5756.016.38%-3.26
Beyond Investing1.8949.803.79%8.99
Absolute Investment Advisers LLC0.0047.81-0.01%7.09
Toews Corp.0.0044.710.00%-4.51
Infusive Asset Management0.0044.020.00%5.04
Highland Capital Management0.0243.560.04%-9.77
Emles Advisors LLC0.0042.080.00%-26.65
Premise Capital-5.6139.69-14.12%-13.27
Cabot ETF Partners LLC-0.8939.63-2.25%34.22
Swan Global Investments3.8735.8210.80%32.72
Neil Azous Revocable Trust6.4635.6418.13%14.72
Red Gate Advisers LLC2.8033.118.45%5.01
ETF Series Solutions1.3029.254.44%2.48
MCCM Group LLC-1.9927.95-7.12%36.38
Guinness Atkinson Asset Management0.3727.371.36%13.33
AlphaMark Advisors0.0026.350.00%-1.41
Alger Group Holdings LLC7.4322.0833.65%15.93
Inverdale Capital Management LLC5.1221.0224.36%15.53
WisdomTree Investments, Inc.0.0018.620.00%18.05
2nd Vote Value Investments, Inc10.7417.7060.67%11.42
Changebridge Capital LLC0.5617.103.25%9.49
Gotham Asset Management Holdings12.3915.7778.54%13.41
The Leuthold Group LLC-0.7514.28-5.28%0.68
GAMCO Investors, Inc.0.9212.677.25%6.46
Rayliant Investment Research1.9712.6415.57%10.14
Counterpoint Mutual Funds LLC0.0011.450.00%-1.20
Point Bridge Capital0.8810.768.14%-0.83
Alternative Access Funds LLC0.0010.030.00%0.00
Mairs & Power, Inc.2.009.8220.40%9.75
Whitford Asset Management6.209.4365.70%6.20
Ridgeline Research LLC2.317.8729.39%4.45
New Age Alpha Advisors LLC2.836.5243.33%4.77
Water Island Capital Partners LP0.006.500.01%0.00
Global Beta Advisors0.585.0511.49%-2.99
Reflection Asset Management, LLC0.003.270.00%0.59
Wilshire Phoenix Funds LLC0.001.780.00%0.00
Democracy Investment Management LLC0.641.3049.07%0.64
Eaton Vance Corp.


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, 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, 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, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of’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,’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.