November ETF Numbers: Let The Good Times Roll

by on December 3, 2009 | ETFs Mentioned:

The National Stock Exchange has released the latest facts and figures on the ETF industry for the month of November, and the results continue to impress. Total ETF assets increased to $752 million, an increase of more than 6% over October results. Strong performances from equity markets played a major rise in the asset uptick, but cash inflows were a major contributor as well, with $17.5 billion coming into the industry for the month (almost twice the impressive $8.8 million in October).

Some highlights from the latest report:

  • In absolute dollar terms, Vanguard led the way in cash inflows with $5.4 billion, followed by Blackrock ($4.2 billion), State Street ($3.7 billion), and Invesco PowerShares ($929 million). Excluding Bank of New York (to whom NSX attributes only the MidCap SPDR), only Greenhaven and Merrill Lynch saw material cash outflows.
  • Several smaller issuers continued to gain traction and build assets. IndexIQ (+100%), Emerging Global Advisors (+35%), PIMCO (+112%), and ETF Securities (+37%) all saw meaningful month-over-month increases in assets.
  • Leveraged ETFs continue to be popular among investors, with Direxion ($516 million) and ProShares ($44 million) both posting cash inflows yet again.
  • Almost all major asset classes saw cash inflows, including domestic equities ($3.6 billion), international equities ($5.0 billion), fixed income ($4.8 billion), commodities ($3.0 billion), and currency ($1.1 billion). Only real estate saw outflows in November.
Ticker Expense Ratio Cash Inflows*
SIVR 0.30% 12.7%
SLV 0.50% 8.3%
Emerging Markets
VWO 0.27% 8.5%
EEM 0.72% 1.1%
DJCI 0.50% 108.9%
DJP 0.75% 3.6%
*November inflows as % of October assets

Low Cost ETFs Gaining Ground

One interesting trend that continued in November is the relative performance of ETFs that track identical benchmarks or commodities, but have different expense ratios (in some cases by a wide margin). Last month showed that when presented the option, investors continue to gravitate towards more cost-efficient alternatives. SIVR, VWO, and DJCI grew much faster than their more expensive competitors for the month (see how these near-identical ETFs stack up in this feature).

While these funds remain substantially smaller than their main rivals, it will be interesting to see how much ground they make up in the near term.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.