There have been 147 new exchange traded products launched in the U.S. this year through the end of September with $5.8 billion of assets, according to ETF manager BlackRock.

The most popular new ETFs to hit the market in 2012 focus on fixed income and equity sectors “with a strong tilt towards funds that seek to provide income,” BlackRock notes.

Meanwhile, 59 products were delisted through the end of the third quarter due to lack of interest and trading volume. These shuttered funds represented combined assets of less than $500 million.

Including older products, the top-selling ETFs this year reflect investors moving toward a risk-on posture and also the quest for yield in a low-rate market for bonds. [The 10 Best-Selling ETFs of 2012]

Among new funds launched this year, PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca: BOND) is dominating the inflows. The fund managed by Bill Gross hit $3 billion in assets this week. In fact, the ETF is among the 10 top-selling ETFs this year even though it wasn’t launched until March. [PIMCO Total Return ETF Hits $3 Billion in Assets]

Below is a list of the best-selling new ETFs so far in 2012, through the end of September:

  1. PIMCO Total Return ETF, inflows of $2.9 billion: The ETF version of PIMCO Total Return Fund, the world’s largest mutual fund with about $278 billion in assets. The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.55%. PIMCO Total Return ETF delivered a return of 8.3% for the six months ended Sept. 30 to outperform its benchmark, the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, by more than 4 percentage points.
  2. iShares Barclays U.S. Treasury Bond Fund (NYSEArca: GOVT), inflows of $499 million: Launched on Valentine’s Day. This U.S. government debt ETF has an expense ratio of 0.15%. The fund has a 30-day SEC yield of 0.74% and an effective duration of a little more than five years.
  3. SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term High Yield Bond (NYSEArca: SJNK), inflows of $312 million: Launched in March. High-yield corporate bond ETFs have been among the top-selling funds in 2012 after enjoying gains of more than 20% the past year. SJNK has an average maturity of 3.4 years. The expense ratio is 0.4% and the 30-day SEC yield is 5%. [Is It Time to Scale Back on High-Yield ETFs?]
  4. iShares MSCI Global Select Metals & Mining Producers Fund (NYSEArca: PICK), inflows of $213 million: Miner stocks have perked up in recent months after trailing metal prices for years. PICK charges fees of 0.39% and holds nearly 300 stocks. Hit the market on Jan. 31.
  5. UBS AG FI Enhanced Big Cap Growth ETN (NYSEArca: FBG), inflows of $113 million: Launched in June. Exchange traded note provides 200% leveraged exposure to the Russell 1000 Growth Index, a benchmark of large-cap U.S. stocks.
  6. First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure (NYSEArca: EMLP), inflows of $88 million: An actively managed fund that invests in master limited partnerships. EMLP has an expense ratio of 0.95%. [First Trust Introduces Active MLP ETF]
  7. Yorkville High Income MLP (NYSEArca: YMLP), inflows of $76 million: The fund has operating expenses of 0.82% and is managed by Yorkville ETF Advisors. MLP funds are appealing to investors looking for yield and diversification. [High Income MLP ETF Launches]
  8. iShares Morningstar Multi-Asset Income (BATS: IYLD), inflows of $73 million: An ETF of iShares ETFs that delivers income with a diversified, managed approach.  The fund is allocated 60% to fixed income, 20% to equity and 20% to alternative income sources.
  9. WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: EMCB), inflows of $71 million: Covers corporate bonds in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.60% and is actively managed. [Investors Get First ETF for Emerging Market Corporate Bonds]
  10. Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research (NYSEArca: MOAT), inflows of $67 million: Comprised of companies that have created a “moat” or could maintain a competitive advantage. MOAT is an ETF that provides investors with exposure to 20 equally weighted, mostly large-cap domestic firms that have wide economic moats. [This ETF Targets Companies with a Competitive Advantage]

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.

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