The year 2016 has been filled with great oscillations as investors were taken on a wild ride, with some markets and exchange traded fund standing out from the rest.
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There are now 1,960 U.S.-listed exchange traded products with $2.550 trillion in net assets under management after the ETP industry attracted $283 billion in net inflows for the year.
Among the most popular ETFs, investors still threw billions into S&P 500-related offerings. For example, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) saw $24.4 billion in net inflows, iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) attracted $13.5 billion and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) added $11.4 billion, according to XTF data. The S&P 500 ETFs saw heavy inflows over the past month, with SPY bringing in $15.4 billion, as investors looked to a pro-growth environment ahead under the new Donald Trump administration.
The broad bond play, iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: AGG), also saw $11.2 billion in inflows.
Despite the sell-off in recent months, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) still managed to bring in $7.4 billion in net inflows for the year. GLD saw $4.8 billion in outflows in the fourth quarter as the U.S. dollar strengthened and the Federal Reserve embarked on the path of interest rate hikes.
The emerging markets have also been a popular play this year after developing country stocks underperformed developed markets over the past few years. The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) brought in $6.8 billion and iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG) experienced $7.3 billion in inflows.
Lastly, the iShares TIPS Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TIP) saw $6.8 billion in net inflows for the year as traders sought to hedge against a rising inflationary pressures, especially with President-elect Trump promising many expansionary policies.
On the other hand, European markets experienced heavy outflows, especially after the so-called Brexit vote. The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ) experienced $7.8 billion in outflows year-to-date while the non-hedged iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) lost $6.7 billion and Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEArca: VGK) shrunk by $3.5 billion.
The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) saw $5.7 billion in outflows and iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSEArca: EWJ) lost $4.3 billion after weak oil prices, uncertainty over China and a negative yield weighed on the Japanese markets.
The Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEF), which includes large weights in European and Japanese stocks, also shrunk by $5.4 billion.
The iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI) also made it to the top 10 list, losing $2.3 billion, as the weakening yuan currency and concerns over the economy caused investors to pull out of the emerging market.
The PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, shrunk by $2.2 billion. While the Nasdaq-related ETF attracted inflows over the past few months, QQQ and other growth-related ETFs were pummeled during the early months of the year as investors shifted into the value style and sold off growth.
For more information on ETF flows, visit our ETF performance reports category.
This article was provided by our partners at etftrends.com.