Income ETFs Led April’s Fund Inflows

by Kyle Woodley | May 8, 2012 11:47 am

Income ETFs Led April’s Fund Inflows

Despite sizable gains by fixed-income exchange-traded funds, the U.S. ETF market as a whole actually got a little bit smaller in April, shedding about $5.3 billion in assets — or about 0.4% — by the end of the month. Still, the industry maintains about $1.2 trillion in assets across 1,246 ETFs.

Snapshot 300x275 Income ETFs Led Aprils Fund Inflows
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The chart on the right provides a look at the past decade in U.S. ETF asset growth, courtesy of State Street’s (NYSE:STT[1]) State Street Global Advisors division.

Income was the name of the game in April, as fixed-income ETFs led all categories in the month with $4.9 billion (2.4%) in inflows — and have gained more than $20 billion year-to-date. Dividend/fundamental ETFs brought in just more than $1 billion (1.8%).

Investors fled large-cap stocks to a tune of about $4.5 billion (2.2%), with financial funds suffering the highest outflows at $634 million (5.3%). However, small-cap ETFs saw more than $1 billion (3.7%) in inflows.

The broader flows reflect a trend also illustrated by IndexUniverse’s “Top Gainers” list of most and least popular funds[2] (based on inflows): namely, a move toward secure fixed income, but also riskier small-caps. Bill Gross’ PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSE:BOND[3]) was among three income funds cracking the top 10 heaviest inflows, and the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSE:IWM[4]) was the most popular fund of all. Meanwhile, the major index ETFs suffered significant outflows.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK[5]) remained the biggest player with almost a half-trillion in assets across its 276 ETFs, good for a 41.8% market share. State Street had $287 billion in assets across 112 products for a 24.1% share. And Vanguard oversaw about $208 billion for a 17.4% share.

Kyle Woodley[6] is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com[7]. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleWoodley[8].

Endnotes:
  1. STT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=STT
  2. IndexUniverse’s “Top Gainers” list of most and least popular funds: http://investorplace.com/2012/05/total-return-etfs-success-how-much-credit-goes-to-gross/
  3. BOND: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BOND
  4. IWM: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=IWM
  5. BLK: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BLK
  6. Kyle Woodley: http://investorplace.com/author/kyle-woodley/
  7. InvestorPlace.com: http://investorplace.com/
  8. @KyleWoodley: https://twitter.com/#%21/kylewoodley

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