SPDR Gold Shares (GLD | A-100), the world’s biggest gold ETF, fell off the list of the world’s 10 biggest ETFs in May, on outflows of $902 million, or more than 3 percent of its total assets. The flows are a reflection of the slow, if uneven, economic recovery in the U.S.
GLD, which ended the month with $27.4 billion, has lost about two-thirds of its assets since they peaked in August 2011 at $77.5 billion. The fund at that time was the biggest ETF in the world. That two-day milestone followed by about two weeks S&P’s historic downgrade of U.S. debt. Shrewd investors could have judged that moment as the formation of a top.
About two weeks later, on Sept. 6, 2011, gold prices reached a cycle high of $1,921. Fast-forward nearly four years and GLD is the 11th-biggest ETF. In that nearly four-year period, the price of gold has tumbled in the past few years by more than a third to around $1,185 an ounce. In May, it was gently lower and it’s essentially unchanged on the year.
The fund that took the No. 10 spot away from GLD was the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA | A-94). That fund is a perfect emblem of the broader shift in asset flows this year toward international and away from U.S. stocks, as the May ETF flows report clearly showed.
ETF Giants May 2015
|SPY||SPDR S&P 500||SSgA||792.74||176,955.64||411,708.26|
|IVV||iShares Core S&P 500||BlackRock||74.15||70,457.01||13,212.69|
|EFA||iShares MSCI EAFE||BlackRock||1,501.84||61,593.47||23,917.90|
|VTI||Vanguard Total Stock Market||Vanguard||356.94||57,034.52||4,925.62|
|VWO||Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets||Vanguard||262.54||48,698.94||8,728.98|
|QQQ||PowerShares QQQ||Invesco PowerShares||-1,370.73||39,007.95||57,952.22|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500||Vanguard||767.44||32,570.19||5,151.37|
|EEM||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||BlackRock||-18.72||31,904.15||36,476.31|
|IWF||iShares Russell 1000 Growth||BlackRock||559.26||29,940.57||3,095.83|
|VEA||Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets||Vanguard||671.38||28,106.44||3,041.06|
ETF Giants April 2015
|SPY||SPDR S&P 500||SSgA||-13,166.99||173,943.78||443,639.54|
|IVV||iShares Core S&P 500||BlackRock||94.03||69,491.83||14,011.45|
|EFA||iShares MSCI EAFE||BlackRock||633.43||60,414.70||23,302.66|
|VTI||Vanguard Total Stock Market||Vanguard||933.25||55,907.29||6,394.84|
|VWO||Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets||Vanguard||196.50||50,132.17||10,547.42|
|QQQ||PowerShares QQQ||Invesco PowerShares||198.01||39,499.32||63,290.03|
|VOO||Vanguard S&P 500||Vanguard||1,434.50||33,289.54||46,531.17|
|EEM||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||BlackRock||476.61||31,403.69||6,132.8631|
|IWF||iShares Russell 1000 Growth||BlackRock||-309.92||28,980.93||4,358.26|