Clear evidence that the trend toward passive products is moving faster than expected.


Only this January, PwC issued a report projecting that global ETF assets under management would double to $5 trillion by 2020. And already, according to Debbie Fuhr’s ETFGI consultancy, we’re looking to break through the US$3 trillion milestone for ETFs and ETPs in the first half of 2015.


All of which was rather timely, given that March 9th marked the 25th anniversary of the very first ETF listing, in Canada. Pass the birthday cake and the champagne

Total global AUM at the end of February, Ms Fuhr said, came to a colossal $2.919 trillion – some $110 billion more than in December 2014. The global ETF/ETP industry had 5,632 ETFs/ETPs, with 10,902 listings, from 245 providers listed on 63 exchanges in 51 countries.

But traffic was also phenomenal.There were $50.7 billion in net new asset (NNA) inflows during February alone, she said – the second largest NNA month on record, after the $61.5 billion recorded in December 2014.


Equity Trackers in Favour

Where was the money invested?  Equity ETFs/ETPs accounted for the largest net inflows ($30.4 bn, or 60%), followed by fixed income ETFs/ETPs with $15.6 bn (30.7%) and commodity ETFs/ETPs with $2.9 bn in net inflows (5.7%). On a year to date basis the net new asset flows into all sectors are at record levels – $28.8 bn into fixed income, $8.0 bn into commodities, $2.7 bn into active ETFs and $62.0 bn globally.

iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows in February with $19.9 Bn, followed by Vanguard with $5.9 Bn and SPDR ETFs with $4.3 bn net inflows. On a YTD basis, iShares gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows with $26.9 bn, followed by Vanguard with $15.7 bn and WisdomTree with $6.8 bn net inflows.

“Investors allocated the majority of net new assets to equities,” said Ms Fuhr, “ as the US market rebounded from a difficult January to end February with both the S&P 500 and the Dow up 6% for the month. Volatility declined during the month. Developed markets were up 6% for the month, while emerging and frontier markets were up 3%”


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