Weekly Flows Show Flight To Safety

Investors bought into high-quality fixed income this past week.

Reviewed by: Cinthia Murphy
Edited by: Cinthia Murphy

The latest look into ETF asset flows suggests investors are flocking to safety and quality.

Not only was U.S. fixed income the most in-demand asset class the week ended Thursday, Sept. 13, funds like the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) saw some of the week’s biggest net creations.

LQD raked in a net of $756 million, making it the No. 1 asset gatherer of the week, while TLT saw its total assets jump 6%.

In aggregate, investors poured a net of $4.2 billion into U.S.-listed ETFs during the past week, more than half of which landed into bond strategies. So far in 2018, U.S. fixed-income ETFs have attracted more than $57 billion in net inflows—a 10% growth in total assets since the beginning of the year.

U.S. equity ETFs, meanwhile, remain the most popular asset class this year, with net creations now totaling $73.8 billion, even if in the past week, demand for U.S. stock funds fell short of $1 billion in fresh net assets.

Some of that demand showed no preference for a specific tier of market capitalization, with funds like the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH) and the iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF (IJR) all found among the week’s top 10 creations.

Year-to-date, U.S.-listed ETFs have seen net creations totaling $180 billion. The overall U.S. ETF market continues to hover around $3.7 trillion in total assets.

Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF756.3534,399.742.25%
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF623.38163,880.980.38%
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF514.099,200.495.92%
IJHiShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF508.8350,931.611.01%
IEFAiShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF483.1857,695.540.84%
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETF353.53105,710.770.34%
VTVanguard Total World Stock ETF344.0112,251.782.89%
IJRiShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF333.0547,384.220.71%
SPIBSPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF306.083,775.438.82%
XLPConsumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund286.719,785.603.02%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust-2,092.26270,031.14-0.77%
QQQInvesco QQQ Trust-1,469.4170,912.51-2.03%
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF-616.8916,150.38-3.68%
XLEEnergy Select Sector SPDR Fund-368.5517,429.72-2.07%
EFAiShares MSCI EAFE ETF-356.4569,454.75-0.51%
EELVInvesco S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility ETF-251.08318.40-44.09%
SCZiShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap ETF-245.6510,196.12-2.35%
XLIIndustrial Select Sector SPDR Fund-213.1513,332.24-1.57%
SOXXiShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF-211.361,601.90-11.66%
AAXJiShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan ETF-206.933,841.05-5.11%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity971.922,156,219.510.05%
International Equity-436.51774,611.35-0.06%
U.S. Fixed Income2,835.78570,534.120.50%
International Fixed Income500.5263,943.840.78%
Commodities -137.6958,894.36-0.23%
Asset Allocation27.749,453.290.29%

Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity73,810.582,156,219.513.42%
International Equity35,244.09774,611.354.55%
U.S. Fixed Income57,842.46570,534.1210.14%
International Fixed Income8,508.7863,943.8413.31%
Commodities -1,792.0558,894.36-3.04%
Asset Allocation657.739,453.296.96%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
QARPXtrackers Russell 1000 U.S. QARP ETF17,84398,596552.58%
HYUPXtrackers High Beta High Yield Bond ETF1355420.54%
XSOEWisdomTree Emerging Markets ex-State-Owned Enterprises Fund47,434195,101411.31%
DBEMXtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Hedged Equity ETF21,73680,892372.16%
URTHiShares MSCI World ETF26,90794,815352.38%
ONEOSPDR Russell 1000 Momentum Focus9,61126,977280.67%
DEWWisdomTree Global High Dividend Fund7,03219,647279.38%
PGFInvesco Financial Preferred ETF257,037702,195273.19%
LOWCSPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF2,4816,590265.57%
RBUSNationwide Risk-Based U.S. Equity ETF6241,558249.59%

Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

TickerNameWeekly PerformanceWeekly VolumeAUM ($, mm)
MJETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF8.30%4,007,975579.19
PXJInvesco Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ETF5.89%109,47033.29
SGGBiPath Series B Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN5.49%49,53527.66
XESSPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF5.30%4,422,126371.50
OIHVanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF4.35%28,996,0511,202.73
VNMVanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF4.35%694,976363.84
IEZiShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF4.12%294,449311.41
RJNElements Rogers International Commodity Index-Energy TR ETN4.08%66,478311.41
OILBiPath Series B S&P GSCI Crude Oil ETN4.01%5,212105.13
USLUnited States 12 Month Oil Fund LP3.99%54,88980.49


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.


Cinthia Murphy is head of digital experience, advocating for the user in all that etf.com does. She previously served as managing editor and writer for etf.com, specializing in ETF content and multimedia. Cinthia’s experience includes time at Dow Jones and former BridgeNews, covering commodity futures markets in Chicago and Brazil equities in Sao Paulo. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.