2011 ETF Assets Update

Posted on 07/14/2011

Many of you are aware that the first ever ETF to come to market was the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), as it was launched back in 1993. Still to this day, it remains the largest ETF with more than $92 billion in assets under management (AUM). What you may not be aware of, however, is the fact that over the last 18 years the number of ETFs available for investment has increased by 1,287%, and the assets housed within these products has grown by more than 2,195%. With money continuing to flow into exchange traded products at exponential rates, we wanted to look back over the full history of this industry to measure just how much it has grown over the years.

The National Stock Exchange (NSX) recently released their composite ETF data for the month of June. This is a resource we consult at the end of each month, as it provides the best issuer-neutral data in one place (that we have come across) which is exclusive to exchange traded products. We compile this data each month to update the image you see below. The two pieces of information we are mainly interested in are the number of ETFs available for investment and the total assets housed within these products. We then compare this data on an annual basis to better visualize the rate of growth within this area of the financial industry. During the month of June, we saw the number of ETFs/ETNs out on the market increase from 1,254 (as of 5/31/2011) to 1,288. However, we saw total assets under management (AUM) decrease slightly from $1.114 trillion in May, to $1.098 trillion by the end of June. Interestingly, this is the second month in which we've seen a decrease in total assets. In fact, ETP assets peaked in April of this year at more than $1.137 trillion.

Despite a couple of months of decreasing AUM (due to share prices falling), there was a still a net inflow for the month of June of about $8.3 billion. Ultimately, (as displayed below) this is an area of the market that has seen consistent growth, both in terms of the number of ETFs available for purchase, as well as in assets under management (AUM).

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