Exchange traded fund investors demonstrated their higher appetite for risk in January by piling into ETFs focused on emerging markets and high-yield corporate bonds.

Vanguard Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: VWO) gathered the most assets last month with inflows of about $3.3 billion, Index Universe reports. Meanwhile, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEM) placed fifth, hauling in $1.3 billion.

The Vanguard emerging markets ETF was 2011’s top seller with inflows of $7.8 billion, according to data compiled by the ETF Industry Association.

Overall, U.S.-listed ETFs took in nearly $29 billion of inflows in January, according to the report.

Emerging market ETFs are off to a great start in 2012, more than doubling the return of the S&P 500 on improved sentiment on the global economy and speculation that multiples are too low. [Emerging Market ETFs Could Rally More on Economy, Valuations]

Investors frustrated with rock-bottom Treasury yields also jumped into corporate bond ETFs in January, particularly the high-yield sector. [ETF Chart of the Day: High-Yield Corporate Bonds]

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