Exchange-traded funds and products listed in the U.S. gathered net flows of $275 billion in the first seven months of this year, just shy of the $279 billion of net inflows in all of 2016, according to ETFGI, a research and consultancy firm.
Industry inflows globally did even better, hitting a record $391 billion in the first seven months of the year, $1 billion more than inflows invested in all of 2016. The global sector has now had 41 uninterrupted months of net inflows.
At the end of July, the U.S industry had 2,038 ETFs/ETPs, with 2,038 listings, assets of $3.1 billion, from 114 providers listed on three exchanges, ETFGI reported.
Net inflows in July totaled $28 billion, marking the 17th consecutive month of positive net new asset flows.
“Most equity markets continued to see gains in July,” Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI, said in a statement. “The S&P 500 gained 2% with telecom and info tech the top performing sectors, up 6% and 4%, respectively. International equities, and especially emerging markets, were up 3% and 6%, respectively.”
Fuhr noted that investors remained focused on political risks: the Trump administration’s ability to move forward on policy goals, hearings on Capitol Hill, Brexit negotiations and North Korea.
Equity funds and products had net inflows of $20.5 billion in July, bringing year-to-date net inflows to $194.7 billion, compared with just $30.3 billion over the same period last year and $173.2 billion gathered in all of 2016.
Fixed income funds experienced net inflows of $73 billion in the January-to-July period, up from $54 billion in the first seven months of last year.
Commodity funds and products saw net outflows of $3.4 billion for the year to date, compared with net inflows of $19.8 billion gathered over the same period last year.
iShares enjoyed the largest net ETF/ETP inflows in July with $14.3 billion, followed by Vanguard with $8.8 billion and SPDR ETFs with $2.6 billion.
Year to date, iShares gathered the largest net inflows with $133 billion. Vanguard trailed with $86 billion and Schwab ETFs with $15 billion.
Smart Beta Products
ETFGI reported that smart beta equity funds and products listed globally reached a new record of $607 billion at the end of July: $539 billion in the U.S., $45 billion in Europe, $15 billion in Canada and $6 billion in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan).
Smart beta funds experienced net inflows of $6.4 billion in July, an increase of 17.8% from June, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 31.9%.
The report identified 1,264 smart beta equity funds and products, with 2,159 listings from 154 providers on 40 exchanges in 33 countries.
Eighty-nine percent of smart beta assets are invested in 621 vehicles domiciled and listed in the U.S., and 76% of the assets are invested in 499 funds and products that provide smart beta exposure to the U.S. market.
iShares gathered the largest smart beta ETF/ETP net inflows in July with $1.53 billion, followed by Vanguard with $1.52 billion and PowerShares with $700 million.
Products tracking S&P Dow Jones smart beta indexes had net ETF/ETP inflows in July of $2.4 billion. CRSP followed with $1.3 billion and FTSE Russell with $540 million.