ARK's Assets Surge, Bond ETFs Bleed

Year-to-date ETF inflows topped $129 billion during the week.

Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy
Demand for ETFs steadied at a healthy level this week as stocks continued their march into record territory. On net, $11.5 billion flowed into U.S.-listed ETFs during the week ending Thursday, Feb. 18, pushing year-to-date inflows up to $129.3 billion, ahead of the $98.3 billion seen at this same time a year ago.

The weekly inflows went primarily into U.S. and international equity ETFs, which picked up $4.7 billion and $6.1 billion in new money, respectively.

Fixed income products didn’t fare nearly as well—inflows were negligible—with investors turned off by a swift sell-off in Treasuries and investment-grade corporate bonds. The 10-year Treasury bond yield touched a one-year high above 1.36% during the week (bond prices and yields move inversely) amid rising economic growth and inflation expectations.

ARK Assets Keep Piling Up

In terms of individual ETFs, the low-cost index fund mainstays and a handful of hot ARK ETFs continued to dominate the flows charts.

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) took the top three positions on the weekly inflows list.

At the same time, the ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF), the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) and the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) each picked up between $522 million and $746 million in new cash.

ARK is currently the seventh-largest ETF issuer, with just under $60 billion in total assets under management.

Its high-flying suite of ETFs sold off modestly this week, but each of the company’s funds is up substantially on a year-to-date basis.

Fixed Income Outflows

While equity ETFs generally remained well-supported this week, fixed income ETFs faced pressure, prompting some investors to lighten up their exposure to the asset class.

Several bond, gold and utility ETFs (considered a bond proxy by some) registered steep outflows during the week.

The iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD), the iShares 20+Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) took the top three positions on the weekly outflows list, with redemptions ranging from $782 million to $1.91 billion.

For a full list of this week’s top inflows and outflows, see the tables below:


Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF 1,358.32 199,295.62 0.68%
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust 1,071.67 340,294.66 0.31%
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF 919.85 81,990.80 1.12%
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF 839.15 219,219.03 0.38%
IEF iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF 834.11 14,265.55 5.85%
ARKF ARK Fintech Innovation ETF 745.67 4,913.25 15.18%
ARKK ARK Innovation ETF 556.09 27,634.25 2.01%
ARKW ARK Next Generation Internet ETF 522.06 9,391.44 5.56%
BNDX Vanguard Total International Bond ETF 511.08 39,124.74 1.31%
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF 497.54 93,534.76 0.53%


Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
LQD iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF -1,910.55 47,552.87 -4.02%
TLT iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF -1,151.00 14,425.09 -7.98%
XLU Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund -782.57 11,517.34 -6.79%
HYG iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF -735.57 21,831.20 -3.37%
EMB iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF -691.13 18,328.40 -3.77%
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF -664.56 67,372.13 -0.99%
GLD SPDR Gold Trust -542.15 64,846.86 -0.84%
PFF iShares Preferred and Income Securities ETF -499.11 18,198.27 -2.74%
VYM Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF -435.09 32,769.11 -1.33%
QQQ Invesco QQQ Trust -267.30 159,866.00 -0.17%


ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 4,694.35 3,343,132.57 0.14%
International Equity 6,130.00 1,196,852.21 0.51%
U.S. Fixed Income 117.51 981,190.47 0.01%
International Fixed Income 252.40 129,480.45 0.19%
Commodities -415.49 141,270.71 -0.29%
Currency -33.66 1,987.10 -1.69%
Leveraged 141.85 53,107.93 0.27%
Inverse 156.98 11,684.18 1.34%
Asset Allocation 55.59 14,257.44 0.39%
Alternatives 393.63 6,417.98 6.13%
Total: 11,493.15 5,879,381.06 0.20%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 41,432.62 3,343,132.57 1.24%
International Equity 56,389.56 1,196,852.21 4.71%
U.S. Fixed Income 20,234.56 981,190.47 2.06%
International Fixed Income 7,197.41 129,480.45 5.56%
Commodities 826.76 141,270.71 0.59%
Currency 80.91 1,987.10 4.07%
Leveraged -794.09 53,107.93 -1.50%
Inverse 2,280.77 11,684.18 19.52%
Asset Allocation 574.40 14,257.44 4.03%
Alternatives 1,119.04 6,417.98 17.44%
Total: 129,341.93 5,879,381.06 2.20%


Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for, where he's worked for 12 years. Before joining the company, Roy was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing pickleball and snowboarding.