Big Outflows Yank GLD From Top 10 ETF List

June 02, 2015

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

Ticker Fund Issuer Flows AUM ($M) Turnover
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

Ticker Fund Issuer Flows AUM ($M) Turnover
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
GLD SPDR Gold SSgA 89.83 28,044.79 12,714.85

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