ETF Trends
ETF Trends

A frequently cited factoid about the exchange traded funds industry has been that 2015 is the year that ETFs will surpass hedge funds in terms of assets under management. By the looks of the recent 13F filings pouring in, hedge funds are a big reason ETFs continue adding assets.

David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP boosted its exposure to two marquee broad market ETFs in the first quarter. The hedge fund owned $413 worth of the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), the Nasdaq-100 (NDQ) tracking ETF, at the end of the first quarter, reports Juliet Chung for the Wall Street Journal.

Appaloosa also owned $934 million of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) is the world’s largest ETF, at the end of the first quarter, according to the Journal. [Nasdaq ETFs Surge]

According to ETFGI, a London-based ETF research firm, the global exchange traded products industry will surpass hedge funds in terms of assets under management this quarter.

“According to our analysis published on April 24th, assets in the global ETF/ETP industry reached a new record of US$2.926 trillion at the end of Q1 2015, while assets in the global hedge fund industry, according to a new report published by Hedge Fund Research (HFR), reached a record US$2.939 trillion. Assets in the ETF/ETP industry have been gaining on those invested in the hedge fund industry with the difference narrowing from US$230 billion at the end of 2013 to just US$13 billion at the end of Q1 2015,” according to a note published by ETFGI last month. [ETFs Almost Bigger Than Hedge Funds]

Last week, it was revealed that Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, added to its stake in SPY last quarter. SPY is Bridgewater’s second-largest equity position behind the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO).

Bridgewater owns positions in several other ETFs, including the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) and the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD). [Bridgewater Alters ETF Positions]

Nearly 1,400 13F filers counted SPY among their top 10 holdings at the end of the first quarter while almost 120 could say the same of QQQ, according to Whale Wisdom.

Powershares QQQ

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this article. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of QQQ, SPY, EEM and LQD.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, 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.