Global ETF Assets Reach New Milestone of $11.6 Trillion

Investors sank $974.87 billion of assets into ETFs last year as equity markets surged.

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

The rapidly growing ETF industry hit new heights in 2023, reaching more than $11.6 trillion in assets. The gains occurred amid a surge in equity markets. 

The total broke the previous record of $10.99 trillion for the year ending November 2023.

Investors sank $974.87 billion of assets into ETFs last year, with an eye- popping $171.76 billion in net inflows in December alone, according to ETF specialized research firm ETFGI.  

The inflows were the second most behind only those in 2021. Further, assets invested in the ETF industry worldwide jumped by 26% last year, according to the research firm.  

Rising investor confidence that spurred a rebound in the equities market played a key role in ETFs’ improved performance, according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner and founder of ETFGI.  

“The S&P 500 increased by 4.54% in December and were up 18.14% in 2023,” she said. “The emerging markets index increased by 3.63% during December and was up 10.87% in 2023. Peru (up 24.95%) and Columbia (up 12.44%) saw the largest increases amongst emerging markets in December.” 

ETF Growth  

While mutual funds continue to dominate large sectors of the investment market, especially in 401k retirement plans, ETFs are gaining ground on the higher cost, old school investment vehicle. ETFs have continued to take market share from mutual funds. About $60 billion in assets have been converted from mutual funds to ETFs since 2021.  

Active ETFs have played a huge part in driving inflows into ETFs last year, according to a report from State Street Global Advisors. For the first time ever, active ETFs comprised 22% of all new money into ETFs. The category received $26 billion in inflows in November 2023.  

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.