Total assets under management in U.S. exchange traded funds are up by $115 billion so far this year thanks to inflows and market appreciation.

“ETF fund flows have been a uniformly positive source of capital into U.S. risk markets in 2012: $39 billion of new cash overall,” says Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist. [Bond ETF Assets Rise Nearly 40% in a Year]

In 2012, investors have pumped $20 billion into stock ETFs, $13 billion into bond funds and $5 billion into commodity portfolios. [ETFs Gathering Record Inflows in 2012]

The top-selling funds this year are iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: HYG), SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond (NYSEArca: JNK), iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: LQD), Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO), iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX) and SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD). [Why Trading in VIX ETFs is Surging]

Assets in exchange traded funds and notes total about $1.2 trillion. [ETF Spotlight: Vanguard Emerging Markets]

“Total AUM is actually up $115 billion with the generally positive performance of capital markets,” Colas wrote in a note Friday.

“ETFs have been the most constant source of new money – notably into U.S. stocks – for several years, especially as compared to mutual funds. Consider that thus far in 2012, mutual fund managers have seen $22 billion in outflows from domestic equity mutual fund products, only partially offset by $4 billion of fresh capital into foreign equity funds,” the strategist added. “Compare that with the $20 billion of new money into equity ETFs thus far for 2012, and it is easy to see that ETFs are adding to available capital at a faster rate than mutual funds are shrinking that same pool of money.”

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD and VWO.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, 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.