Gaining entree into the $ 1 billion marks a significant milestone for exchange traded fund (ETF) providers. It signals that investors like their funds and that the provider behind them isn’t going anywhere. Last month, a new entrant appeared.

Total assets in U.S. ETFs closed out May at $798 billion, down from nearly $850 billion, but this is a reflection of the overall market instability and volatility. [ETFs vs. Mutual Funds: The Winner.]

Dave Nadiq for Index Universe reports that part of the reason for the positive numbers is that ETFs are increasingly being seen not just as speculative vehicles, but as parking places for safe-haven money. This shift helped bring a new member into the $1 Billion Club: PIMCO. The provider’s enormously popular PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy ETF (NYSEArca: MINT) closed out May with $800 million in assets. [ETF Assets in May.]

Nadiq also points out that it’s interesting to watch how the smaller ETF providers, such as Direxion, Schwab, ETF Securities, Van Eck and U.S. Commodity Funds, continue to grow in assets while many of the industry’s top five are trading them back and forth. It shows that the ETF industry is far from a stagnant one.

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

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

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.