The 10 Most Actively Traded ETFs In The World

by on January 17, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

ETF investing has surged in recent years as the industry has experienced exponential growth in nearly all aspects of the universe. Now, there are over 1,400 products with more than $1 trillion in combined assets to offer exposure to just about every corner of the market an investor could ever want. But while these products had originally been designed for more traditional, “buy and hold”, investors in mind, they have evolved into trading instruments as well. Many traders utilize exchange traded products for exposure given their transparency, ease of trade, and low expense structures [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].

When it comes time to find the perfect trading instrument, many will start with average daily volume and then work their way through the fund’s holdings. Now it should be noted that ADV and ETFs do not necessarily align; because ETFs can undergo creation, a fund with a low ADV can still be relatively liquid. Nevertheless, ADV is a very important metric when choosing the correct trading instrument for your investing needs. But wading through the waters of so many funds can be overwhelming and many do not know where to begin.

In an effort to help traders find products that may suit their requirements, we outline the ten most active funds in world from a daily volume standpoint. Readers will notice that bigger does not always mean better, as some products have made it onto the list despite having significantly lower assets under management than competing ETFs. Combined, these ten funds account for over 645 million shares traded each day [see more at Top 25 ETFs By Trading Volume].

Ticker ETF Avg. Volume Assets (In Millions)
 SPY SPDR S&P 500  220,606,375 $96,223.9
 XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR  100,241,039 $5,857.4
 EEM MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund  64,624,992  $33,116.8
 IWM Russell 2000 Index Fund  64,357,613  $14,884.2
 QQQ QQQ  57,943,707  $26,235.1
 SDS UltraShort S&P500  31,540,494  $1,923.7
 TZA Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares  29,368,428  $737.0
 TNA Daily Small Cap Bull 3X Shares  27,999,473  $1,037.0
 FXI FTSE China 25 Index Fund  24,545,510  $5,951.1
 EFA MSCI EAFE Index Fund  24,178,930  $37,147.8

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.