Top 20 ETFs in 401(k)s: BrightScope

BrightScope ranks top funds for retirement plans

BrightScope published its list of the top 20 exchange-traded funds based on their distribution in 401(k) plans on Tuesday.

Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope, said ETFs were becoming more common in retirement plans’ fund lineups.

“ETFs, in terms of their distribution in 401(k) plans, have increased in prevalence over the past couple of years as plan sponsors begin to better understand the benefits of including them on plan menus,” Herman said in a statement. “The presumed risks of ETFs have been moderated, and they’re now perceived as more transparent than many other instruments focused on long-term returns.”

Vanguard and iShares dominated the top 20 funds. Half of the funds on the list are from iShares, and seven are from Vanguard.

A dozen funds are new to the list, displacing holdouts like Vanguard Small Cap (VB), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM),  Vanguard Growth (VUG), iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA), Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond (BIV), Ultra QQQ ProShares (QLD), iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index (IWO), iShares Russell 2000 Value Index (IWN), iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury (IEF), iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY), Vanguard Mid-Cap (VO) and Vanguard Small-Cap Value (VBR).

20. iShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index (IJH)*

19. iPath Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return (DJP)*

18. Vanguard REIT Index (VNQ)*

17. iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (TIP)*

* Funds are new to BrightScope’s top 20 list.

16. iShares Russell Mid-Cap Value Index (IWS)

15. Vanguard S&P 500 (VOO)*

14. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

13. iShares iBoxx $ Investment-Grade Corporate Bond (LQD)*

* Funds are new to BrightScope’s top 20 list.

12. Vanguard Value (VTV)*

11. iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)*

10. Vanguard Small-Cap Growth (VBK)

9. iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV)*

* Funds are new to BrightScope’s top 20 list.

8. Vanguard S&P Small-Cap 600 Index (VIOO)*

7. iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index (IWF)

6. iShares Core Total US Bond Market (AGG)*

5. iShares Russell 1000 Value Index (IWD)

* Funds are new to BrightScope’s top 20 list.

4. Vanguard Total International Stock (VXUS)*

3. iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM)

2. SPDR S&P 500 (SPY)

1. Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND)

* Funds are new to BrightScope’s top 20 list.


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