Consequently, the changing investment attitudes have been a major boon for passive fund managers like the Vanguard Group, which attracted an industry record inflow of $236 billion last year, along with the upstart ETF industry.

According to ETFGI data, the U.S. ETF industry gathered $239.8 billion in net inflows over 2015, with $38.0 billion in new inflows over December, the largest asset gathering month for the year and 11th consecutive month of positive net gains.

“2015 was a turbulent year for the markets due to uncertainty in China which spilled over into global markets, concerns about the Middle East and a collapse in energy prices,” Deborah Fuhr, Managing Partner of ETFGI, said in a press release. “The robust level of asset gathering in 2015 shows that more investors are using ETFs/ETPs in more ways due to the market turmoil: retail is using more ETFs through Robo-advisors, institutions are using ETFs as alternatives to futures, and financial advisors are using more ETFs especially in multi-asset portfolios.”

Max Chen contributed to this article.