The continued inflows into ETFs suggests that more investors are turning to the investment vehicle to capture the market moves and shifting environment

“The record 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,” Fuhr added.

The iShares and Vanguard ETFs were among the most popular fund providers, attracting $139.4 billion and $84.6 billion in net flows for 2015, respectively. Additionally, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s x-trackers series came in third with $28.4 billion in net inflows.

Vanguard and iShares have upped the ante by cutting costs to bring in long-term investors who are seeking low investment fees. Meanwhile, DeAWM has enjoyed greater interest largely due to its suite of currency-hedged international stock ETFs that promise to provide overseas exposure while diminishing currency risks.

As of the end of 2015, iShares was the largest global ETF provider with $1.11 trillion in assets under management, followed by Vanguard at $509.6 billion and State Street’s SPDR with $443.2 billion.

Max Chen contributed to this article.