Total ETF inflows for February were $46 billion, bringing the year-to-date total to a record-breaking $87.9 billion, a record start to any year for new assets.
U.S. equity pulled in more than any other asset class, at $20.4 billion. U.S. fixed income and international equity were neck-and-neck, with inflows of $10.2 billion and $10.5 billion, respectively. Only currency saw outflows, losing $59.8 million.
The top gainer for the month out of the entire field of U.S.-listed ETFs was the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG), which pulled in $2.5 billion. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) was in second place, pulling in just $20 million less than IEMG during the month.
A Story Of Costs
IEMG’s inflows capture a rather fascinating development in the ETF space—the inexorable tide of low-cost victories. With an expense ratio of 0.14%, the fund is basically a broader, lower-cost version of its older brother, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), which comes with an expense ratio of 0.72%.
While IEMG was among the top gainers in February, the more expensive EEM actually saw zero inflows for the month and is down $33 million for the year. IEMG also holds the top spot for year-to-date inflows, pulling in a total of $4.2 billion in the first two months of the year, almost 22% of its total assets under management. LQD is again in second place, with $3.7 billion in inflows year-to-date.
The No. 3 spot for February inflows was claimed by the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which pulled in some $1.7 billion, a notable reversal from its outflows of $866 million in January. Commodities as a whole pulled in $2 billion during the month, after more than $600 million in outflows in January, boosted no doubt in part by the upswing in the yellow metal.
The ETFs with the biggest outflows included the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), which saw its assets fall by $1.6 billion during the month, or more than 4% of its assets under management. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was the second-biggest loser, with outflows of $986.2 million, a reduction in AUM of just 0.42%.
However, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) was hot on its heels, with outflows of $981.1 million, or nearly 6% of its AUM. SPY and IWM were also the two biggest losers year-to-date, with outflows of $2.6 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively.
Top Gainers (February 2017)
|Ticker||Name||Issuer||Net Flows ($,mm)||AUM ($M)||% of AUM||YTD 2017 Net Flows($,M)|
|IEMG||iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF||BlackRock||2,485.09||23,824.90||11.65%||4,226.25|
|LQD||iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF||BlackRock||2,465.40||31,078.62||8.62%||3,706.91|
|GLD||SPDR Gold Trust||State Street Global Advisors||1,664.66||33,990.50||5.15%||798.19|
|XLV||Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund||State Street Global Advisors||1,438.89||16,038.75||9.86%||1,266.81|
|IJH||iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF||BlackRock||1,385.37||39,375.52||3.65%||2,719.32|
|IVV||iShares Core S&P 500 ETF||BlackRock||1,303.89||98,093.81||1.35%||1,836.45|
|VEA||Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF||Vanguard||1,279.82||44,338.13||2.97%||2,191.94|
|XLF||Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund||State Street Global Advisors||1,252.81||25,097.97||5.25%||1,356.12|
|VCSH||Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund||Vanguard||1,076.98||17,426.28||6.18%||1,505.68|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund||Vanguard||1,046.41||63,313.08||1.65%||3204.42|
Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)
|Ticker||Name||Issuer||Net Flows ($,mm)||AUM ($M)||% of AUM||February 2017 Net Flows($,M)|
|IEMG||iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF||BlackRock||4,226.25||23,824.90||21.56%||2,485.09|
|LQD||iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF||BlackRock||3,706.91||31,078.62||13.54%||2,465.40|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund||Vanguard||3,204.42||63,313.08||5.06%||1,078.92|
|IJR||iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF||BlackRock||2,959.25||30,138.29||10.89%||995.93|
|IJH||iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF||BlackRock||2,719.32||39,375.52||7.42%||1,385.37|
|VEA||Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF||Vanguard||2,191.94||44,338.13||5.20%||1,279.82|
|BSV||Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund||Vanguard||2,164.93||21,815.36||11.02%||700.83|
|IEFA||iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF||BlackRock||2,136.43||18,639.54||12.95%||387.53|
|VCIT||Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund||Vanguard||2,127.69||12,576.56||20.36%||524.11|
|VTI||Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund||Vanguard||2,054.91||75,952.49||2.80%||1,058.11|