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U.S. ETFs Gathered $800 Billion of New Money YTD

U.S.-listed ETFs gathered $800 billion of new money in the first 11 months of 2021, continuing to obliterate the prior record of $504 billion set in 2020.

Demand for ETFs remains stronger, with more than $60 billion of net inflows in the past month. Despite increased market volatility, investors continued to turn to equity ETFs. Year to date through November, equity ETFs gathered $607 billion of new money according to CFRA’s ETF data, equal to 76% of the record-setting $800 billion of net inflows for the U.S.-listed industry. This was slightly lower than the asset category’s 79% share of the market, as fixed income ETFs punched above their weight with 23% and took some of the share typically held by commodities funds, which were out of favor. As investors become more comfortable using ETFs for strategic and tactical purposes, fixed income ETFs were utilized to support asset allocation and cash management needs of retail and institutional investors.

Figure 1: Asset Category Share of ETF Market (%)


CFRA ETF data. As of November 30, 2021.

There are 177 ETFs that have gathered more than $1 billion of new assets thus far in 2021. While Vanguard has had six of the 10 most popular ETFs to purchase in 2021, led by Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) and Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), iShares had the most funds cross the $1 billion market, with its broader suite of products. iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA), and iShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETF (IUSB) were among the firm’s 51 products to pull in more than $1 billion of new money, according to CFRA data. Vanguard (46) and State Street Global Advisors (20) were the two other firms to hit the milestone with a double-digit number of products.

Meanwhile, Charles Schwab and JPMorgan total only 27 and 39 products, respectively. Yet, Schwab had nine funds pull in more than $1 billion of new money, led by Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD). In contrast to other large firms that are driven by their index-based offerings, four of JPMorgan’s seven products that crossed the $1 billion mark are actively managed, led by JPMorgan Equity Premium ETF (JEPI). First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY), Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) and SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Value ETF (SPYV) were among the other funds to pull in more than $1 billion so far this year.

Figure 2: Number of ETFs that gathered $1 billion of net inflows YTD


CFRA ETF data. As of November 30, 2021


There has been record demand for ETFs in 2021 as investors gravitated to equity and fixed income products, which provide diversification benefits, ease of use, low expense ratios and tax efficiency relative to mutual funds or individual securities. For investors looking to sort through the growing universe of products, CFRA rates more than 2,100 ETFs, with a forward-looking ETF holdings focus on risk, reward and costs, regardless of asset size.

Todd Rosenbluth is the director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA. Learn more about CFRA's ETF research here. 

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