Dividend ETFs also remain hot with inflows of more than $2 billion quarter to date. Some of the largest ETFs in the category include iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend (NYSEArca: DVY), Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (NYSEArca: VIG) and SPDR S&P Dividend (NYSEArca: SDY). [Dividend ETFs for 2013]
Additionally, Colas observed volatility-linked ETFs tracking VIX futures have seen inflows from investors seeking a hedge, despite their poor performance. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX) and other products in the category have experienced inflows of more than $300 million quarter to date.
Overall, there are currently more than 1,400 exchange traded funds and notes listed in the U.S.
“Dissecting the money flows into/out of this investment ecosystem gives an increasingly complete picture of market psychology and attention,” Colas wrote.
“The bottom line is that ETFs are increasingly an important go-to investment choice for everyone from retail mom-and-pops investors to the most sophisticated hedge funds on the planet,” the strategist said. “And how often can you say that about, well, anything in the world of high finance?”