The August exchange traded fund (ETF) numbers are in, and the industry continues to grow as new investors discover ETFs, old investors wade back into the markets and ETF providers continue to launch exciting new products.

Total assets in U.S.-listed exchange traded products surged to $678 billion, a 4% increase since previous highs in July. Year-to-date, assets are up 25%.  Funds in fixed income, commodities and emerging markets are raking in the highest flows and garnering the most interest, explains Sam Mamudi for The Wall Street Journal.

The industry had 846 exchange-traded products from 36 providers at the end of August. The  latest regulation may curb some of the buying interest for those investors seeking commodity exposure through ETFs, as regulators try to curb speculation they believe has led to volatility in the market.

Other than that, ETFs are touted for their flexibility to trade on an exchange like a single stocks with transparency and liquidity. The amount of exposure that an ETF yields is unsurpassed, and investors love the lower fees and tax efficiencies that come with most ETFs, as well.

This year has been especially challenging for the industry in general, but the growth the ETF business has seen is a good indicator that when markets see a more firm rebound, ETFs will become even more prolific and popular with investors of all types.

For more stories about ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

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.