• Global ETF/ETP investments reach $7 trillion in August, up 5.1% from July
  • Positive net inflows in the industry for the last 15 months
  • Net Inflows $428.25 billion YTD, up from $272.62 billion last year
  • 46% of August net inflows in 20 ETFs led by iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF

Assets invested in exchange traded funds (ETF) and exchange-traded products (ETP) listed globally hit the $7 trillion milestone at the end of last month, according to research and consultancy firm ETFGI. This figure rose 5.1% from $6.66 trillion in July as most stock markets around the world enjoyed big gains.

“The S&P 500 enjoyed its best August since 1986, gaining 7.2% in the month and up 9.7% year to date. The 24 developed ex-U.S. markets were all up for the month with the index up 5.5% – Norway (up 8.9%) and Japan (up 7.9%) gained most, while Iberian countries Spain (up 1.9%) and Portugal (up 0.2%) gained least," said Deborah Fuhr, managing partner, founder and owner of ETFGI. "Emerging markets gained 2.7% in August, with the U.S. dollar weakness and virus responses impacting performance" 

At the end of last month, the Global ETF/ETP industry had 8,287 ETFs/ETPs, with 16,495 listings, from 474 providers listed on 73 exchanges in 59 countries.

asserts ETF
Source: ETFGI.

August saw net inflows of $55.18 billion, bringing year-to-date net inflows to $428.25 billion, which is almost 60% higher than the $272.62 billion gathered during the same period last year. 

Positive net inflows have been observed for 15 straight months now as market players seek the safety and low costs of passive investing during the crisis. Here's a breakdown of YTD net inflows by type and the increase from 2019:

  • Equity ETFs/ETPs: $137.74 billion, up 57.1% from $87.63 billion
  • Fixed income ETFs/ETPs: $160.61 billion, up 8.5% from $147.99 billion
  • Active ETFs/ETPs: $43.24 billion, up 75.6% from $24.62 billion 

Around 46% of total ETF/ETP net inflows in August can be attributed to just the top 20 ETFs by net new assets, which collectively gathered $25.56 billion. (see Top 20 in chart below) The iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA US), which tracks non-U.S. and Canada companies, accounted for $2.18 billion alone and was the biggest draw in August. It was followed by the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND US), Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ US) and Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI US). The top four most popular ETPs were all gold-related – iShares Gold Trust (IAU US), SPDR Gold Shares (GLD US) and Invesco Physical Gold ETC (SGLD LN) and SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM US).

ETF inflows
Source: ETFGI.