The proverbial they say “the rich get richer” and that is often true of the exchange traded products industry where BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) iShares, State Street’s (NYSE: STT) State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard control a significant portion of total U.S. ETF assets under management.

In terms of individual ETFs, bigger does not always mean better, a sentiment that has been empirically documented across a broad swath of sectors and asset classes. [Bigger Not Better for This ETF]

Of course, there are instances where some of the largest ETFs do deliver solid returns for investors. The PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), the NASDAQ-100 tracking ETF, is a fine example. Not only is QQQ up nearly 14% this year, a gain that outpaces the S&P 500 by about 460 basis points, but QQQ is one of the top-performing big ETFs over extend time frames as well. [NASDAQ ETFs Lead the Way]

QQQ, the sixth-largest U.S. ETF with almost $46.4 billion in assets under management, “has produced the best 10-year return, coming in at an average annual 12.10%. The tracker of the 100 biggest nonfinancial stocks traded on the Nasdaq composite has climbed an average annual 27.02% the past three years and 21.19% the past five years,” reports Doug Rogers for Investor’s Business Daily.

QQQ is not alone in its status as solid behemoth performer. Helped by Warren Buffett’s that everyday investors would be best served owning a low-cost Vanguard index fund, the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEArca: VTI) has become one of the five largest U.S. ETFs in terms of AUM.