The exchange traded fund industry has quickly accumulated over $2 trillion in assets under management, with investors piling into cheap broad market, smart-beta and some sector fund options.
The Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) was the fastest-growing ETF over the three years ended December 31, growing to $27.6 billion in 2014 from $2.4 billion in 2011, reports Charles Stein for Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg ranking considers one-, two-, and three-year asset growth where one-year growth is weighted at 50% and two- and three-year growth are weighted 30% and 20%, respectively.
The rapid growth in VOO may be due to its cheap expense ratio of 0.05% but an average 1.4 million daily volume, which suggests that investors are utilizing VOO as a buy-and-hold option. In contrast, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), the largest S&P 500-related ETF, has a 0.09% and an average volume of 111.2 million shares, which indicates that many large players are using SPY to go in and out of the market.
Other dirt-cheap ETFS also made it on to the fastest-growth ETF list, including the Schwab U.S. Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: SCHX) and Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (NYSEArca: SCHB), the two cheapest ETFs on the market with a 0.04% expense ratio. Additionally, the Schwab ETFs trade commission-free on the Charles Schwab OneSource Platform. [Build a Dirt-Cheap Portfolio With These ETFs]
Some alternative index, smart-beta ETFs also made it on the top 10 list of fastest growing ETFs. The Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (NYSEArca: RSP), which equally weights S&P 500 stock components, and the PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000 Portfolio (NYSEArca: PRF), which tracks a Research Affiliates index that selects stocks based on book value, cash flow, sales and dividends, have both quickly accumulated assets over the years as investors jumped on the long-term outperformance. For instance, PRF has outpaced the S&P 500 index since it started on Dec. 19, 2005, returning 120% compared to the 103% from the S&P 500. RSP has increased an average annualized 9.3% over the past 10-years while the S&P 500 returned 7.9%. [The Growing Smart-Beta ETF Space]
Investors have also been chasing performance in the healthcare space. The Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEArca: VHT) and iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGS: IBB) where among fastest growing ETFs as the funds outpeformed the broader markets, rising average 28.9% and 43.7% over the past three years, respectively.
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Max Chen contributed to this article.