Exchange traded funds have spent the better part of the past 20 years being pesky rivals to mutual funds, but with the exponential growth of the ETF industry, that rivalry is intensifying and it is ETFs, not mutual funds, wracking up the impressive milestones.
This is the latest milestone for ETFs: For the year through March investors’ ETF holdings grew more than their mutual fund holdings, Daisy Maxey reports for the Wall Street Journal, citing Broadridge Financial Solutions.
“Individual-investor holdings of ETFs grew by $267 billion in the year through March, a 24.4% increase, according to Broadridge. Over the same period, individuals’ holdings of long-term mutual funds grew by $255 billion, or 5.6%, the company said,” according to the Journal.
By sheer number, mutual funds still dwarf ETFs. The number of U.S.-listed exchange traded products is approaching 1,700, but there are close to 8,000 U.S. mutual funds.
That has not derailed ETFs from growing at breakneck speed. Strong March inflows brought first-quarter ETF inflows to $97.2 billion, or nearly triple the total from the from the first quarter of 2014, according to BlackRock data.
“Global ETFs gathered $36.1 billion in March to lift Q1 flows to $97.2 billion, nearly triple the total from Q1 2014,” said BlackRock. [ETFs Haul in $36.1B in March]