The Individual Investor's Guide to Exchange-Traded Funds: 2009
The dramatic growth in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has come to an abrupt halt, although the fund industry did experience some growth over the last year.
Total assets have increased to $640 billion as of July 31, up 9.8% from last year’s $582 billion (excluding HOLDRS), according to the Investment Company Institute, an investment company trade organization. The assets include $258 billion in broad-based U.S. stock ETFs, $128 billion in U.S. sector stock ETFs, $166 billion in global and foreign stock ETFs, and $87 billion in bond ETFs.
Not surprisingly, most of the growth has occurred in the bond category, which saw an 85% increase in total assets over the course of a year. Broad-based stock ETFs actually saw a slight decrease in assets.
This year, AAII tracked over 750 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including 104 new funds that started trading within the last year. However, for the first time since AAII started tracking ETFs, there were a significant number—58—that have closed.
Because of the large number of ETFs that now have long-term track records, this year’s printed version of the Guide to ETFs includes only ETFs that have over $100 million in net assets and have been in existence for over one year. We have also excluded leveraged and inverse ETFs from the printed version, since they are primarily designed for day traders. All funds, however, are included in the table here and in the downloadable spreadsheet.
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Cara Scatizzi is a former associate financial analyst at AAII.