Although June was a mixed month for exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the stock market, the overall outlook is still sunny.

U.S. ETF assets totaled $575 billion as of June 30, down 5.4% from the beginning of the year, reports David Hoffman for Investment News. The drop in assets is simply a sign of declining equity valuations, as the number of shares outstanding increased 9% during the first half of 2008. This is not a reflection onETFs, rather, it is a symptom of the earlier drop in U.S. equities from the first part of 2008.

ETFs continue to play a integrative and useful role in many portfolios and are indispensable in many strategies. Once again, diversity is helping to keep ETFs out of the slumps, and this is one of the reasons ETFs are appreciated. The diversification they bring to the table can really help one weather an economic storm, and current market conditions are giving them a chance to prove themselves.

Kevin Burke for Ignites reports that many of the newer ETFs offer asset classes and areas of the market that were hard for investors to access previously. The lion’s share of asset and share growth during the first six months of the year has been in areas not tied to U.S. equities.

From one year ago June, total assets in ETFs are up 19%. Meanwhile, the number of available ETFs has ballooned by 32.5%, according to the Investment Company Institute.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.