ETF Assets Up $224 Billion this Year | Page 2 of 2 | ETF Trends

3.       Gold/Precious Metals/Commodity funds still sloppy.  The large outflows from these former market-leading assets occurred in the first half of the year with $22 billion in redemptions.  Q3 is smaller – just $1.2 billion in commodity fund outflows.  Gold funds are the drivers of these results.  Note to the Federal Reserve: deflation is still a real threat, at least in the eyes of the ETF world.

4.       Inverse Leverage ETFs show remarkable resilience.   For the QTD, flows into these products total $1.7 billion, led by products which short small cap stocks, crude oil, the S&P 500, gold mining stocks, and NASDAQ names.

5.       That said, straight-up exposure is still the overwhelming driver of ETF flows.  Drilling down one decimal point, unlevered ETFs of all stripes (bonds, stocks, commodities, etc.) have drawn $57.7 billion of the total $58.7 billion in ETF flows this quarter.

6.       The hot sectors this quarter were Basic Materials, Technology and Health Care, each with over $2 billion of fresh money.

7.       On the not-so-hot side, financials and energy are losing traction with ETF investors after a strong first half.  Financials: $1.6 billion QTD, almost $7 billion YTD.  Energy: $1.2 billion QTD, $4.3 billion YRD>

8.       Stone cold: Industrials, which only garnered $29 million in fresh capital this quarter after $1.5 billion of inflows in the first half.  Left for dead: utilities, but that has been the case most of the year.  Negative $65 million QTD and negative $129 million for all of 2013.

9.       Actively managed funds – mostly fixed income at this point – continue to plow along raising small amounts of capital with $326 million for the quarter.  This will – eventually – be the next large growth area of ETFs.

10.   The final quarter is going to be bumpy.  Not in our helpful table but still useful is the one-week ETF money flows: negative $89 million.  It’s not unusual for ETFs to have down weeks for flows, of course.  And in the context of the post-FOMC sell-off, such a small number doesn’t really indicate much.  Over the last several years total ETF flows have run about $150-200 billion annually.  By that measure there is still a remaining $20 – 70 billion left to show up between now and December 31st.  How and when it comes will certainly have a say in whether we’ve seen the highs for stocks in 2013, or have one last hurrah.