A Year of Record Inflows for Passive ETF Providers

The exchange traded fund industry just experienced another record year with heavy inflows into passive strategies, with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, leading the charge.

BlackRock’s iShares ETF business enjoyed a record year of growth as its ETF business expanded at its fastest pace ever, collecting a record $246 billion in new inflows on a surge of investment interest for both quality core foundational funds and more targeted fund exposures offering innovative new ways to access the markets, according to a note. Meanwhile, the global ETF industry grew to $4.5 trillion in total assets under management for the first time.

“Tens of millions of individual and institutional investors have chosen iShares ETFs to invest with simplicity, ease, choice, and at low cost,” Mark Wiedman, Global Head of iShares and Index Investments at BlackRock, said in a note. “We project the global ETF market to more than double in assets under management by 2022. Three global trends should power this growth: fee-based wealth management, networked bond and derivatives trading, and alpha-seeking usage by active fund and wealth managers.”

The broader U.S.-listed ETF industry is expected to announce within days that it enjoyed a third consecutive year of record-breaking growth with net new inflows of more than $600bn in 2017, the Financial Times reports.

Fueling the ongoing growth of the ETF industry, the increased dissatisfaction with high fees and poor performances of traditional active fund managers who pick stocks that can’t beat the overall equity market has turned millions of investors into passive, index-based ETF enthusiasts.