2018’s $315B ETF Inflows 2nd Largest Ever

January 03, 2019

The U.S. stock market falling to the cusp of a bear market didn’t slow ETF investors. They still added nearly $50 billion to U.S.-listed ETFs in December, propelling 2018 into the record books as the year with the second-largest inflows ever.

The $315.4 billion that ETFs collected in 2018 was behind only 2017’s $476.1 billion haul, an impressive showing in a volatile year for financial markets. In December, the S&P 500 plunged, briefly falling as much as 20% below its all-time high.

Yet remarkably, ETF investors added money to their U.S. equity holdings during the month. For 2018 as a whole, $135.7 billion entered U.S. equity ETFs.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) and the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) were among the biggest winners in the space, each with inflows of $9 billion or more.

Robust inflows for those funds more than offset the $16.5 billion that came out of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and the $5.4 billion that came out of the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF).

IEFA Gains, EFA Sheds Assets

Meanwhile, international equity ETFs also saw inflows in 2018, to the tune of $69.6 billion—a strong showing considering outstanding concerns about Europe, China and emerging markets more broadly.

In fact, the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) took in the most money of all ETFs, $20.8 billion. On the other hand, the more expensive iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) was No. 2 on the outflows list, with redemptions of $10.6 billion.

The iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (EZU), the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) also shed assets.

Short-Term Bonds Popular

U.S. fixed income, another area to get hit by volatility during the year, gained fresh assets from ETF investors. A cool $87.8 billion flowed into the space, even as interest rates gyrated wildly. The U.S. 10-year bond yield climbed to a seven-year high of 3.26% in November, before falling to an 11-month low of 2.68% in December, mirroring the quick shift in the economic outlook. 

Short-term Treasury ETFs were the biggest winners of investors’ desire to capture higher rates, while minimizing interest rate risk. The iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF (SHV) more than doubled its assets, taking in a whopping $12.7 billion. The iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) also did well, with inflows of $9.3 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively.

In contrast, corporate bond ETFs like the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD), the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and the iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) were shunned, all losing billions in assets.

For a full list of the top inflows and outflows for 2018, see the tables below:

 

Top Gainers (December 2018)

Ticker Name Issuer Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($M) % of AUM YTD 2018 Net Flows($,M)
SHV iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF BlackRock 3,395.75 20,687.81 16.41% 12,694.07
SHY iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF BlackRock 3,381.76 20,629.91 16.39% 9,316.16
IWD iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF BlackRock 2,627.33 37,311.63 7.04% 604.91
AGG iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF BlackRock 2,582.80 56,794.17 4.55% 5,420.43
BSV Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF Vanguard 2,371.13 27,912.76 8.49% 4,187.62
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF BlackRock 2,304.09 148,093.14 1.56% 18,545.81
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF Vanguard 2,079.77 64,829.81 3.21% 9,551.29
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF Vanguard 2,003.29 93,681.39 2.14% 9,823.25
ACWI iShares MSCI ACWI ETF BlackRock 1,935.96 10,536.62 18.37% 2,901.94
IWB iShares Russell 1000 ETF BlackRock 1,901.82 17,448.18 10.90% -1,799.04

 

Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)

Ticker Name Issuer Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($M) % of AUM December 2018 Net Flows($,M)
IEFA iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF BlackRock 20,804.56 52,076.53 39.95% 860.27
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF BlackRock 18,545.81 148,093.14 12.52% 2,304.09
IEMG iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF BlackRock 15,726.60 49,031.76 32.07% 1,377.31
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF Vanguard 13,938.13 89,746.25 15.53% -2,040.86
SHV iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF BlackRock 12,694.07 20,687.81 61.36% 3,395.75
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF Vanguard 9,823.25 93,681.39 10.49% 2,003.29
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF Vanguard 9,551.29 64,829.81 14.73% 2,079.77
SHY iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF BlackRock 9,316.16 20,629.91 45.16% 3,381.76
VTV Vanguard Value ETF Vanguard 8,513.52 41,061.36 20.73% 1,199.05
BIL SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF State Street Global Advisors 6,628.21 8,571.24 77.33% 1,540.89

 

Biggest Losers (December 2018)

Ticker Name Issuer Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($M) % of AUM YTD 2018 Net Flows($,M)
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund State Street Global Advisors -3,226.34 22,636.73 -14.25% -5,358.98
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF Vanguard -2,040.86 89,746.25 -2.27% 13,938.13
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust State Street Global Advisors -1,197.30 241,315.23 -0.50% -16,507.12
FLOT iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF BlackRock -1,004.73 11,315.45 -8.88% 4,828.07
SRLN SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan ETF State Street Global Advisors -872.59 2,224.58 -39.23% 10.42
EMB iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF BlackRock -810.42 14,130.35 -5.74% 3,393.54
EZU iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF BlackRock -754.60 6,380.78 -11.83% -7,003.15
VGT Vanguard Information Technology ETF Vanguard -712.45 17,179.38 -4.15% -136.86
MTUM iShares Edge MSCI U.S.A. Momentum Factor ETF BlackRock -699.68 7,921.28 -8.83% 3,186.96
VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF Vanguard -655.42 12,761.78 -5.14% -2,501.29

 

Biggest Losers (Year-to-Date)

Ticker Name Issuer Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($M) % of AUM December 2018 Net Flows($,M)
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust State Street Global Advisors -16,507.12 241,315.23 -6.84% -1,197.30
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE ETF BlackRock -10,630.26 62,007.95 -17.14% 1,417.02
EZU iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF BlackRock -7,003.15 6,380.78 -109.75% -754.60
LQD iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF BlackRock -6,830.59 29,561.61 -23.11% -551.74
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund State Street Global Advisors -5,358.98 22,636.73 -23.67% -3,226.34
JNK SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF State Street Global Advisors -5,110.49 6,749.40 -75.72% -213.14
DXJ WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund WisdomTree -4,497.26 3,676.55 -122.32% -513.50
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF BlackRock -3,991.23 29,222.02 -13.66% 723.10
HYG iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF BlackRock -3,498.92 13,123.04 -26.66% -650.54
VNQ Vanguard Real Estate ETF Vanguard -3,387.56 27,778.81 -12.19% -603.98

 

Asset Classes (December 2018)

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 15,215.91 1,872,625.44 0.81%
International Equity 16,777.97 731,511.39 2.30%
U.S. Fixed Income

17,429.50

589,853.63 2.97%
International Fixed Income -1,049.50 65,159.70 -1.79%
Commodities ETFs 1,346.45 62,619.57 2.13%
Currency 43.95 1,798.70 2.44%
Leveraged 615.43 29,940.26 2.06%
Inverse -1,290.53 11,468.34 -11.25%
Asset Allocation 664.07 9,317.76 7.13%
Alternatives 75.95 5,225.76 1.45%
Total: 49,829.19 3,379,520.54 1.47%

 

Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 135,717.05 1,872,625.44 7.24%
International Equity 69,644.17 731,511.39 9.54%
U.S. Fixed Income 87,755.52 589,853.63 14.97%
International Fixed Income 10,962.95 65,159.70 16.02%
Commodities ETFs 906.67 62,619.57 1.44%
Currency -59.70 1,798.70 -3.32%
Leveraged 7,740.81 29,940.26 25.84%
Inverse 827.82 11,468.34 7.22%
Asset Allocation 1,509.17 9,317.76 16.20%
Alternatives 478.60 5,225.76 9.16%
Total: 315,483.08 3,379,520.54 9.33%

 

December 2018 League Table

Issuer Net Flows ($,M) AUM ($,M) % of AUM YTD 2018 Net Flows($,M)
BlackRock 36,222.60 1,337,583.40 2.71% 134,266.19
Vanguard 11,023.35 850,327.88 1.30% 84,757.46
State Street Global Advisors -1,648.25 568,122.90 -0.29% -648.35
Invesco 718.89 168,046.08 0.43% 5,868.41
Charles Schwab 2,461.74 114,475.14 2.15% 28,362.95
First Trust -925.75 61,013.60 -1.52% 9,986.38
WisdomTree -273.58 35,323.75 -0.77% -5,126.04
VanEck 527.72 34,173.08 1.54% 4,147.60
ProShares -391.65 26,843.91 -1.46% 3,335.31
JPMorgan 2,891.19 20,061.57 14.41% 15,717.30
PIMCO -122.50 18,321.14 -0.67% 3,906.48
Northern Trust -404.30 14,149.04 -2.86% -0.58
ALPS 175.87 11,652.07 1.51% -300.09
Deutsche Bank -441.58 10,890.40 -4.05% -961.08
Rafferty Asset Management 271.99 10,809.76 2.52% 2,225.16
Fidelity -660.64 10,653.01 -6.20% 2,836.50
Goldman Sachs 263.60 10,102.79 2.61% 4,487.82
Mirae Asset Global Investments -218.31 8,049.08 -2.71% 1,772.69
UBS 34.98 5,808.03 0.60% 119.75
Barclays Bank PLC -265.82 4,901.48 -5.69% 1,449.03
New York Life 187.75 4,049.12 4.64% 894.57
Exchange Traded Concepts -145.83 4,015.88 -3.63% -55.89
Credit Suisse -454.73 3,635.95 -12.51% 498.53
Pacer Financial 238.07 3,224.98 7.38% 1,773.94
OppenheimerFunds 99.40 3,195.76 3.11% 1,155.81
The Principal Financial Group 11.02 3,005.00 0.37% 1,092.83
Victory Capital Management -66.91 2,931.82 -2.28% 1,053.68
John Hancock 456.68 2,762.02 16.53% 1,967.14
ETF Managers Group -81.65 2,760.00 -2.96% 1,346.68
US Commodity Funds 119.02 2,453.85 4.85% -770.11
Aberdeen Asset Management 67.44 2,422.78 2.78% -80.51
Hartford 322.49 2,389.76 13.49% 2,226.55
KraneShares -7.78 1,973.56 -0.39% 1,251.70
ARK -31.87 1,909.15 -1.67% 1,395.91
Franklin Templeton Investments 55.41 1,607.21 3.45% 768.29
USAA Asset Management 23.06 1,105.20 2.09% 920.84
Northern Lights -26.76 1,083.52 -2.47% 439.68
Janus Henderson 59.35 982.27 6.04% 733.45
Legg Mason 5.78 777.87 0.74% 155.17
Millington Securities Inc -18.83 776.16 -2.43% -113.85
Transamerica 9.70 727.62 1.33% -56.80
CitiGroup 135.64 722.61 18.77% 454.06
Innovator Capital Management 47.83 705.06 6.78% 328.21
AdvisorShares -43.80 657.09 -6.67% -141.78
Virtus -17.59 656.28 -2.68% -44.00
Columbia -57.96 631.87 -9.17% -489.41
Cambria 3.32 619.16 0.54% 7.58
O’Shares Investment Advisers -170.23 559.00 -30.45% -53.55
Davis 19.50 535.01 3.64% 304.37
Nuveen 11.58 526.72 2.20% 177.26
Amplify -37.40 474.20 -7.89% 389.01
GraniteShares 3.61 380.33 0.95% 358.57
Alpha Architect -7.78 374.04 -2.08% 138.37
Highland Capital Management -100.13 372.14 -26.91% -164.42
Nationwide Fund Advisors -1.32 319.59 -0.41% 0.17
Montage Managers 110.75 278.94 39.70% 189.74
Strategy Shares -3.69 272.12 -1.35% 236.90
PGIM Investments 66.10 265.89 24.86% 168.31
Aptus Capital Advisors 11.67 207.05 5.64% 171.37
Reality Shares -7.97 202.61 -3.93% 131.87
The RBB Fund -0.79 175.06 -0.45% 189.38
Arrow Investment Advisors -2.40 157.84 -1.52% 5.05
Merk 2.49 143.33 1.74% 9.24
ClearShares 0.00 125.51 0.00% 23.65
TrimTabs Asset Management -6.41 119.85 -5.35% 90.48
US Global Investors 2.80 96.12 2.92% -2.21
American Century 3.29 78.63 4.18% 55.50
Exponential ETFs 0.05 62.24 0.08% 17.32
BMO -233.94 61.23 -382.06% -157.10
EntrepreneurShares, LLC -0.76 60.54 -1.25% 14.68
Natixis 2.05 48.66 4.22% 13.89
FQF Trust 14.62 47.91 30.52% 19.89
Redwood Investment Management 1.10 47.64 2.31% 51.97
OBP Capital LLC -2.41 42.02 -5.74% -1.15
Premise Capital 0.00 32.88 0.00% 15.09
Point Bridge Capital 0.00 30.73 0.00% 3.06
Morgan Stanley -0.00 22.83 -0.02% -8.50
Diamond Hill 1.42 22.78 6.25% 6.28
Advisors Asset Management 0.00 22.10 0.00% 19.79
Cboe Vest Financial 4.09 21.92 18.66% 23.54
Validea Capital Management 0.00 21.61 0.00% 0.03
Gadsden 9.38 21.58 43.49% 21.89
AlphaMark Advisors 0.00 20.75 0.00% -1.35
Active Weighting Advisors 0.51 17.46 2.95% 5.00
Metaurus Advisors 0.00 16.91 0.01% 13.45
Distillate Capital Partners 1.23 16.49 7.43% 18.10
Renaissance Capital 0.00 15.72 0.00% -1.21
Sage Advisory Services 0.00 14.47 0.00% 4.84
CSOP 0.72 11.07 6.50% 5.66
Cushing 10.00 8.92 112.11% 10.00
StrongVest 0.00 8.46 0.00% 0.00
Salt Financial 0.54 8.19 6.56% 9.45
SL Advisors 0.00 8.09 0.00% 6.50
USCF Advisers -1.92 7.29 -26.35% -1.78
Little Harbor Advisors 0.00 6.01 0.00% 6.90
TigerShares 0.00 5.81 0.00% 6.13
Impact Shares -0.00 5.45 -0.03% 6.10
Regents Park Funds 0.00 5.04 0.00% 3.82
Defiance ETFs 0.00 4.92 0.00% 6.08
Change Finance 0.91 4.39 20.74% 1.87
SerenityShares 0.00 3.81 0.00% 0.00
TriLine Index Solutions 0.00 3.80 0.00% 4.91
EquBot 0.00 3.12 0.00% 3.74
Whitford Asset Management 0.00 0.55 0.00% -1.91
Swedish Export Credit 0.00 0.00 0.00% 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.

 

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