Hope you’re not getting tired of exchange-traded funds, because they’re making more noise than ever.
A recent BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) Institute ETF Landscape Report showed the global ETF industry’s first-quarter inflows grew 57% year-over-year to a record $67 billion. New net U.S. assets grew by $55.6 billion, shattering the year-ago period’s record $29.1 billion by 91%.
The globe added 229 exchange-traded products in Q1 2012, bringing the total to 4,450 ETPs with more than $1.728 trillion in assets — including 1,446 U.S. ETPs with more than $1.2 trillion in assets, according to ETF Industry Association data. U.S. total products grew 23% year-over-year.
Among some of the biggest inflow gainers were fixed income ($19.5 billion) and emerging-market equities ($13.7 billion).
BlackRock remains the largest issuer by assets, with almost $500 billion under management across its 255 products. State Street Global Advisors (NYSE:STT) had about $300 billion under management, and Vanguard reported more than $200 billion in assets.
SSgA’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) remained the largest ETF at more than $105 billion under management, gaining more than $15 billion in assets over the past year. The SPY is followed by the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) at $70 billion and the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSE:VWO) at $54 billion.
VWO also led all ETFs in new inflows for the quarter, bringing in $6.44 billion in assets.
Many ETF investors were rewarded for their newfound faith with strong returns, especially in the financial and technology sectors. Read more about some of the best-performing ETFs of Q1 here.
Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleWoodley.