Global ETF Assets Hit $11.7 Trillion Record

The global industry gathered a record $136.8 billion in net inflows in January.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

The ballooning ETF industry hit a record $11.7 trillion in global assets last month as investors moved out of cash to stocks and bonds.

The new high surpassed the previous record of $11.6 trillion in assets set in December 2023, according to a new data report from ETF research firm ETFGI. January inflows were the highest ever, with $136.8 billion entering global ETFs, handily exceeding the previous monthly high of $105.6 billion set in 2018, according to the report.

The U.S. stock market has continued its more than year-long rally in 2024, pushing assets in U.S. equity ETFs higher, while also attracting inflows as investors moved cash off the sidelines.

“The S&P 500 increased by 1.68% in January,” said Deborah Fuhr, managing partner and founder of ETFGI. Yet developed markets outside the U.S. decreased by 0.31% in January, Fuhr noted.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs Surge

Another key driver of inflows was new products, including the newly launched spot bitcoin ETFs, according to ETFGI. While the Securities and Exchange Commission previously allowed ETFs that offered exposure to bitcoin futures contracts, in mid-January it approved 10 new products based primarily on bitcoin's spot price. The approval unleashed a wave of eager crypto investors and brought billions to the newly minted funds, including ETFs from BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments.

“We had a very good month in terms of inflows,” Fuhr told etf.com. “It’s been 56 months of consecutive inflows, so in terms of the amount as well as the consistency, ETFs have done very well taking in new money,” she added.

Overall, the top 20 ETFs gathered $99.6 billion in flows during January, the ETFGI report said. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) generated $20.52 billion in flows in January—the largest inflow into any single ETF—the report said, although those assets were from a trust converting into an ETF. Because of the fund’s comparably high expense ratio, the GBTC ETF has bled $7 billion since its unveiling in January, according to etf.com data.

Other bitcoin ETFs attracted significant inflows over the month, according to ETFGI. The iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) attracted $2.8 billion and $2.5 billion in new net inflows respectively.

The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) recorded the second and third largest net inflows in January with IVV bringing in $12 billion and VOO attracting $9.8 billion in net inflows.

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected]

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.